South African businessman and philanthropist Nicholas “Nicky” Oppenheimer has an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion as of 2015, according to Forbes. This rose to $7.7 billion as of October 2018. He is the richest man in South Africa. He served as the chairman of diamond mining company De Beers.
Nicky was born on 8 June 1945 in South Africa. He studied at the Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford. Oppenheimer joined Anglo American Corporation (a multinational mining company founded by his grandfather Ernest Oppenheimer) in 1968. He was appointed a director in 1974 and deputy chairman in 1983.
He served De Beers as its chairman from 1998 to 2012. In 2012 he sold his 40 percent stake in De Beers to Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash. Currently Anglo American controls 85 percent of De Beers.
Oppenheimer was bestowed with a doctorate in technology, honoris causa, by the Technikon Witwatersrand, South Africa, in 2003. In the year 2004, the President of Botswana honored him with the Presidential Order of Honor. He received an honorary fellowship from the London Business School in 2009.
Nicky Oppenheimer married his wife Orcilla “Strilli” Lasch in 1968. Orcilla is the daughter of Helli Lasch, an industrial tycoon. They have a son, Jonathan Oppenheimer. The family’s philanthropic efforts are focused on preserving the heritage and cultural importance of the South African region. Along with his son, Nicky established the Brenthurst Foundation in 2005. The foundation is helping strengthen Africa’s economic performance.