Family office of former De Beers chairman sets up shop in S'pore

The Oppenheimers also have a joint venture with Temasek Holdings.

Matthias Ang | October 21, 2021, 10:58 AM

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The family office of Nicky Oppenheimer, the former chairman of the world's largest diamond producer De Beers, has established itself in Singapore so as to tap the market in Asia, Bloomberg reported.

Known as Oppenheimer Generations, the firm's Singapore team will be headed by Edoardo Collevecchio, the firm's former chief of staff, who is moving over from London.

It will also include Yi Ling Ong from Temasek Holdings, who will join the office as the head of investment for the Asia unit.

Collevecchio was quoted as saying, "Over the next 20 or 30 years, the synergies between Africa and Asia are going to be substantial. We want to be here at the start of that journey."

Who are the Oppenheimers and what is the extent of their involvement with De Beers?

According to Bloomberg, the Oppenheimer family have a combined net worth of US$8.2 billion (S$11 billion), largely as a result of the sale of their 40 per cent stake in De Beers for US$5 billion (S$6.72 billion) in 2012.

According to the Financial Times (FT), this stake was sold to Anglo American, a mining firm which was founded by Ernest Oppenheimer, the grandfather of Nicky Oppenheimer, in 1917 in South Africa.

Oppenheimer Generations was then formed following the sale of the stake.

FT further reported that Ernest Oppenheimer also took control of De Beers in the 1920s, while Nicky Oppenheimer himself served as the diamond producer's chairman from 1998 to 2012.

Family has joint venture with Temasek set up 10 years ago

The family also has a private equity joint venture with Temasek Holdings known as Tana Africa Capital.

It was first established in 2011 to invest primarily in consumer goods and agricultural sectors across Africa, with Temasek Holdings and the Oppenheimer family each contributing US$150 million in capital (S$201.6 million), Reuters reported.

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