Nicky Oppenheimer & family Biography – Early Life Net Worth Education Awards

By | October 31, 2023
Nicky Oppenheimer & family Biography - Early Life Net Worth Education Awards
Nicky Oppenheimer & family Biography – Early Life Net Worth Education Awards

Nicholas F. Oppenheimer, born on June 8, 1945, is a South African billionaire entrepreneur. He has a history as the chairman of the De Beers diamond mining company and its subsidiary, the Diamond Trading Company, and has also been the deputy chairman of Anglo American. Currently, he holds the position as the third wealthiest individual in Africa.

Early Life:

Oppenheimer is the offspring of Bridget (née McCall) and Harry Oppenheimer, and he is the grandson of Ernest Oppenheimer, the founder of Anglo American and the first-generation chairman of De Beers from 1929. His father had German Jewish heritage. He received his education at Ludgrove School, Harrow School, and Christ Church, Oxford. At Oxford, he pursued Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, ultimately earning an Oxford MA.

Business Career:

In 1968, Nicholas Oppenheimer joined Anglo-American, and by 1974, he was appointed a director. His career progressed, leading him to become the deputy chairman in 1983. He resigned from this role in 2001, remaining a non-executive director until 2011.

In 1984, he was designated as the deputy chairman of the Central Selling Organisation, which is now known as the Diamond Trading Company. The following year, in 1985, he assumed the position of deputy chairman at De Beers Consolidated Mines. Simultaneously, he was appointed as the chairman of the Diamond Trading Company. From 1998 to 2012, he served as the chairman of the De Beers Group. His retirement coincided with the sale of the family’s stake to Anglo American.

In the Sunday Times Rich List of 2018, Nicholas Oppenheimer was listed as the 23rd wealthiest person in the United Kingdom, with an estimated fortune of £5.5 billion. He also held the title of the richest person in South Africa on Forbes’ list of The World’s Billionaires for 2019, boasting a reported wealth of US$7.3 billion. In 2020, he maintained his position on the Forbes list with a reported fortune of US$7.6 billion in August 2020.


The Oppenheimer family has dedicated a significant portion of their philanthropic endeavors to preserving the heritage and cultural significance of the Southern African region. They have also been actively involved in community upliftment across various sectors, including education, health, nature conservation, and the arts. In 2005, Nicky Oppenheimer and his son Jonathan Oppenheimer established the Brenthurst Foundation to contribute to discussions and policies aimed at enhancing Africa’s economic performance and promoting inclusive and sustainable development.

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The family has a longstanding commitment to environmental and conservation causes. They collaborated with De Beers in 2006 to create the Diamond Route, a project aimed at maximizing the conservation, research, and environmental awareness potential of their properties. The Diamond Route connects eight sites across northern South Africa, spanning from Namaqualand on the west coast to Kimberley, north to Tswalu in the Kalahari, and extending to the Brenthurst Gardens in Johannesburg. It also encompasses Ezemvelo Nature Reserve in the east and the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve in Limpopo Province in the north. Since 2015, Oppenheimer has served as a Rhodes Trustee.


In recognition of his contributions, Nicholas Oppenheimer received an honorary doctorate from Technikon Witwatersrand in 2003. He was honored with the Presidential Order of Honor in 2004 by the former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae. Additionally, in 2009, he was granted an honorary fellowship by the London Business School.

Personal Life:

In 1968, Nicholas Oppenheimer tied the knot with Orcillia “Strilli” Lasch, who was the daughter of industrial tycoon Helli Lasch. Both Nicholas and Orcillia are Anglican. It’s worth noting that while his father was born Jewish, he later converted to Anglicanism.

Nicky Oppenheimer & family Biography – Early Life Net Worth Education Awards

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