|Full name||Nicholas Frank Oppenheimer|
|Date of birth||June 8, 1945|
|Parent name||Harry Oppenheimer and Bridget Oppenheimer|
|Net worth||$8.3 billion|
Nicky Oppenheimer’s net worth places him as the second richest person in South Africa after Johann Rupert. As a South African billionaire businessman and heir to the DeBeers diamond fortune, he has amassed an estimated net worth of $8.3 billion.
Oppenheimer’s family history is steeped in wealth and legacy, contributing to his impressive net worth. In 2012, he increased his wealth by selling his family’s 40% stake in De Beers to Anglo American for a staggering $5.1 billion in cash.
Beyond diamonds, Oppenheimer has made strategic private equity investments across Africa, Asia, the US, and Europe through Stockdale Street and Tana Africa Capital. He founded Fireblade Aviation, a company specialising in charter flights based in Johannesburg.
Nicky Oppenheimer is a businessman and philanthropist; he dedicates a substantial amount of his earnings to charity and philanthropy, extending to education, healthcare, and various social causes within South Africa and internationally.
The life of Nicky Oppenheimer is exciting; our article provides in-depth information on Nicky Oppenheimer’s family background, impressive net worth, and the diversified avenues from which he generates his immense wealth.
Nicky Oppenheimer’s Net worth
As reported by Forbes, Nicky Oppenheimer’s current net worth currently stands at $8.3 billion. This figure reflects a minor increase of $1 million, equivalent to 0.02%, as of September 22, 2023. Notably, his wealth positions him as the 264th richest individual in the world today and the second richest in South Africa.
Born into affluence, Nicky Oppenheimer’s family legacy in De Beers dates back to his grandfather, Ernest Oppenheimer, who founded the renowned diamond company in 1925. His father, Harry Oppenheimer, chaired De Beers from 1957 to 1998, further solidifying the family’s ties to the diamond industry.
Nicky Oppenheimer’s net worth primarily comes from his family’s ownership of De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer. In 2012, Nicky Oppenheimer made a historic move by selling his stake in De Beers to Anglo American, a major player in mining and diamonds. This transaction marked one of the largest-ever deals in the mining industry, significantly boosting Nicky’s wealth.
How Nicky Oppenheimer Makes His Money
Nicky Oppenheimer made a significant fortune by selling his family’s 40% stake in De Beers, the world’s largest rough diamond producer, to Anglo American for $5.2 billion in August 2012. This boosted his net worth substantially, thanks to his smart investments in the dynamic African market.
As a private equity investor, Oppenheimer had plans to invest a large amount of the proceeds into private equity investments focused on Africa. He also allocated funds to expand his stake in Tana Africa Capital, a private equity joint venture he co-founded with Temasek Holdings, an investment fund based in Singapore. Additionally, he invested in Capital, a venture capital firm that concentrated on South Africa, in November 2012. Oppenheimer’s wealth is primarily based on his businessman success and strategic investment choices.
Oppenheimer had a long association with Anglo American, joining the company in 1968 and serving as a director, deputy chairman, and non-executive director until 2011. Over the years, he held prominent positions in the Central Selling Organization (now Diamond Trading Company) and De Beers Consolidated Mines. He retired as Chairman of the De Beers Group in 2012 when his family’s stake was sold to Anglo American.
Regarding his philanthropic efforts, Oppenheimer and his family are known for their commitment to preserving South Africa’s cultural heritage and improving areas such as arts, health, education, and natural conservation. They co-founded the Brenthurst Foundation in 2005, focusing on enhancing strategies and policies for Africa’s economic growth and sustainable development. They also partnered with De Beers in 2006 to establish the Diamond Route, connecting eight sites across northern South Africa for conservation, research, and environmental awareness.
Oppenheimer also ventured into the aviation industry, starting Fireblade Aviation in Johannesburg in 2014. The company offers chartered flights using three planes and two helicopters. In addition, Oppenheimer is a Rhodes Trustee and owns vast conservation land totalling at least 720 square miles across South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.
Nicky Oppenheimer Family
Nicky Oppenheimer comes from a well-known family with a rich history in the business world. His father, Harry Oppenheimer, and grandfather, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, were both influential figures in the mining and diamond industries.
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, Nicky’s grandfather, founded the Anglo-American Corporation in 1917 and later took control of De Beers, a prominent diamond mining and trading company. His success laid the foundation for the family’s wealth and involvement in the diamond industry.
Harry Oppenheimer, Nicky’s father, continued the family’s legacy in mining and diamonds. He held key positions in De Beers and the Anglo-American Corporation, demonstrating his business skills and commitment to the industry. Harry was recognised for his philanthropic efforts, too.
Nicky Oppenheimer, the richest member of the Oppenheimer family today, boasts a remarkable net worth of $8.6 billion. He followed in his family’s footsteps and played a significant role in the family business. He served as the Chairman of De Beers Group and was involved in various other business ventures. Nicky Oppenheimer is known for his strategic leadership and his contributions to philanthropic causes.
Nicky Oppenheimer is married to Orcillia ‘Strilli’ Lasch, the daughter of the renowned industrial tycoon Helli Lasch. Their union was celebrated with a lavish ceremony in 1968. The couple was blessed with a son named Jonathan Oppenheimer, who has followed in his father’s footsteps and established himself as a businessman.
The Oppenheimer family’s achievements in the business world have had a lasting impact on the diamond and mining industries. They have made valuable contributions while also prioritising philanthropy to better the communities around them.
List of Nicky Oppenheimer’s Companies
Nicky Oppenheimer has been associated with several notable companies throughout his career, primarily in the mining and diamond industries. Here is a list of some of the key companies with which he has been affiliated:
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is a prestigious conservation project located on the southern edge of the Kalahari in South Africa. It is owned by Oppenheimer Generations, a community that represents the global interests of the Oppenheimer family, including Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer. Tswalu offers an authentic wilderness experience, granting visitors access to the largest privately protected area in South Africa.
The reserve spans a vast expanse, from the majestic Korannaberg mountains to the iconic ochre dunes and arid savannah that stretch to the horizon. At Tswalu, guests can enjoy unrushed and unscripted safari days. They have the unique opportunity to explore the remote corners of the reserve at their own pace using a private safari vehicle. In addition to thrilling game drives, visitors can partake in activities such as encountering habituated meerkats, nature walks, tracking, horse riding, stargazing, and meeting scientific researchers and resident artists.
While providing an exclusive safari experience for a maximum of 40 guests across three luxury camps—Motse, Tarkuni, and Loapi—Tswalu Kalahari Reserve prioritises its role as a conservation project. With a low guest footprint, the reserve emphasises sustainable, nature-based tourism as a means to protect vital habitats and restore biodiversity. This commitment aligns with Tswalu’s broader purpose of leaving the world in a better state than it was found.
By choosing Tswalu for their safari, guests actively contribute to the conservation vision and sustainability efforts. Tswalu releases an annual impact statement, developed in partnership with sustainability partner The Long Run, which calculates the cost of conservation and the positive contributions to nature and communities. In 2021, guests’ stay translated to a remarkable US$5.8 million investment in the hearts and livelihoods of 282 residents. Moreover, nature-based tourism facilitated essential healthcare services for approximately 1,000 individuals through the Tswalu Health Care Centre, a free community initiative for residents within a 100-kilometer radius of the reserve.
Tswalu’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond conservation. The reserve also focuses on community engagement, cultural preservation, and responsible commerce. Staying at one of the small, luxury safari camps not only ensures an intimate connection with the African wilderness but also supports the Tswalu Foundation’s scientific research initiatives.
As South Africa’s largest wildlife reserve, Tswalu Kalahari is an ambitious project paving the way for sustainable conservation. By aligning with The Long Run, Tswalu commits to an ongoing sustainability journey guided by conservation, community, culture, and commerce principles. With its breathtaking landscapes, unique wildlife sightings, and dedication to making a positive impact, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve offers an unforgettable safari experience while promoting a better future for biodiversity and communities in the Kalahari region.
De Beers Group
De Beers Group, one of the notable companies associated with Nicky Oppenheimer, is a renowned diamond mining and trading company. Nicky Oppenheimer played a significant role in the company’s leadership, serving as the chairman of De Beers Group from 1998 to 2012.
Founded in 1888 by Cecil Rhodes and financed by the Oppenheimer family, De Beers became the world’s leading diamond exploration, mining, and marketing corporation. The company has played a pivotal role in shaping the global diamond industry and has established diamonds’ status as symbols of love and luxury.
De Beers Group has been involved in various aspects of the diamond supply chain, from exploration and mining to sorting, cutting, polishing, and marketing. The company’s mining operations have spanned across several countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Canada. De Beers has been at the forefront of diamond exploration and pioneered innovative mining techniques.
As a leading diamond trader, De Beers Group has established and implemented marketing strategies that have contributed to the demand and desirability of diamonds worldwide. The company’s marketing campaigns, most notably the iconic “A Diamond is Forever” slogan, have profoundly influenced consumer perceptions and preferences in the diamond industry.
Nicky Oppenheimer’s tenure as chairman of De Beers Group marked significant milestones for the company. Under his leadership, De Beers underwent several notable transformations, including a shift towards more sustainable and responsible mining practices. The company actively promoted ethical sourcing and supporting initiatives for the betterment of local communities where it operated.
In 2012, Nicky Oppenheimer and the Oppenheimer family sold their stake in De Beers Group to Anglo American, a multinational mining company. However, the Oppenheimer family’s legacy and influence in the diamond industry remain significant, and their association with the De Beers Group is a testament to the family’s longstanding involvement and contributions to the diamond mining and trading sector.
Through his involvement with De Beers Group, Nicky Oppenheimer has left a lasting impact on the diamond industry and played a crucial role in shaping the company’s direction. His leadership and commitment to sustainability have paved the way for responsible diamond mining practices and have helped maintain De Beers’ position as a leading player in the global diamond market.
Nicky Oppenheimer’s Biography
Nicky Oppenheimer, a well-known business tycoon, was born to Bridget and Harry on June 8, 1945. He is currently 78 years old as of 2023. Nicky is the grandson of Ernest Oppenheimer, who founded a company called Anglo-American South Africa Limited.
Nicky attended Harrow School and later studied at Christ Church, Oxford, where he earned a prestigious degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. His family was already wealthy, and he learned about business from his grandfather, which helped him become successful.
In 1968, Nicky joined the Anglo-American Corporation, a mining company founded by his father in London. He worked in the branch that dealt with diamonds and gold. In 1975, he moved back to Johannesburg and joined De Beers, a company specialising in diamond extraction and processing. Anglo-American is the largest shareholder of De Beers, and Nicky became a director of the company in 1978.
In 1984, he became the vice president of the Central Selling Organization, which later became known as the Diamond Trading Company. In January 1998, when he became the head of “De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd,” the company faced challenges because its monopoly in the diamond market, which lasted for many decades, was ending. Nicky decided to expand the company’s retail supply to overcome these difficulties, as competition from Russian and Australian diamond markets had weakened De Beers.
Nicky Oppenheimer made strategic moves to strengthen De Beers, including forming an alliance with LVMH and opening a jewellery store in the Lafayette Center in Paris. This began a series of successful high-end jewellery stores for the company. Through his efforts and business acumen, Nicky Oppenheimer rose to fame and became the third richest person in Africa.
Nicky Oppenheimer cars
The second richest person in South Africa has made careful decisions when it comes to spending his money on various assets. He is interested in buying luxury cars that match his personal preferences and lifestyle.
- Mercedes Benz McLaren: Nicky Oppenheimer purchased this high-performance sports car, valued at approximately N75 million.
- BMW i3 EV: He also acquired this electric vehicle, showcasing his commitment to sustainability and innovation.
Nicky Oppenheimer House
Nicky Oppenheimer, the leader of the Oppenheimer family, resides at Brenthurst Estate, a private property in Johannesburg, South Africa. Brenthurst Gardens is a beautiful 45-acre (180,000 m2) private garden attached to the estate. This expansive garden is exclusively owned by the Oppenheimer family and is a delightful addition to their residential property.
Nicky Oppenheimer’s Foundation
The Brenthurst Foundation was established by Nicky Oppenheimer and his son Jonathan Oppenheimer in 2004.
Based in South Africa, the foundation focuses on uplifting communities and preserving heritage in the Southern African region. Due to their business interests and history, this area holds deep cultural significance for the Oppenheimer family.
The family funds various impactful initiatives across sectors like education, health, conservation, arts, and community development through the foundation. For example, they have established scholarships to help disadvantaged youth access quality education. In healthcare, funding has supported upgrading facilities and programs.
In conservation, grants protect crucial wildlife habitats and natural areas from threats. For arts and culture, the foundation has been a patron of institutions like the South African National Gallery. At the community level, projects address issues like poverty alleviation.
One of the foundation’s most prominent contributions is establishing the Oppenheimer Research Centre at the University of Cape Town.
This interdisciplinary research hub addresses challenges facing South Africa and Africa. The foundation also actively preserves natural areas by funding projects to secure wildlife migration corridors.
The Oppenheimer family also cares about the environment and works with De Beers to create the Diamond Route. This project connects several conservation sites in South Africa, promoting research and raising awareness about the environment. Since 2015, Nicky Oppenheimer has also been involved as a trustee for the Rhodes Trust.
Nicky Oppenheimer Awards
Nicky Oppenheimer is a prominent figure and has received recognition and awards for his contributions over the years. The following are his awards:
- Presidential Order of Honor (2004) from the former President of Botswana
- Festus Mogae and
- An honorary fellowship (2009) from the London Business School.
The story of Nicky Oppenheimer’s journey to immense wealth showcases his entrepreneurial prowess and impact on both the diamond industry and the global economy. Oppenheimer expanded his wealth beyond diamonds with strategic private equity investments and ventures like Fireblade Aviation. Through his philanthropic activities, he supports various social causes and remains influential in the business world.
Frequently Asked Questions
How did Nicky make his money?
Most of Oppenheimer’s fortune is derived from the proceeds he collected selling his family’s 40% stake in De Beers, the world’s largest rough diamond producer, to Anglo American for $5.2 billion in August 2012.
What does Nicky Oppenheimer do for a living?
Nicky is a South African business magnate renowned for his role in De Beers, one of the country’s largest diamond mining companies.
Who is the No one richest in Africa?
For the 12th consecutive year, Aliko Dangote, President of the pan-African conglomerate, the Dangote Group, has emerged as the richest man in Africa despite economic headwinds affecting the fortunes of half the world’s reported billionaires.