Private investor, hedge fund manager and philanthropist George Soros is widely celebrated as being among the world’s most successful investors. He has amassed net worth of over $25 billion. This achievement is all the more incredible when you consider that as a teenager he had to flee Nazi-occupied Hungary. By the time he made his way to England, he was broke. He attended the London School of Economics and worked as a waiter, a railway porter as well as a clerk in a souvenir shop to survive. Eventually he worked at a series of merchant banks in entry level positions. Learn more about George at Biography.
The first merchant bank Budapest, Hungary native George Soros worked with was Singer % Friedlander. From that humble beginning, George Soros went on to create and manage Soros Fund Management, found the international philanthropic organization the Open Society Foundations, help ease the transition in Eastern Europe from communism to capitalism relatively peacefully. He has also donated large sums to educational institutions in South Africa, Eastern Europe and other places around the world. He has also donated millions of dollars to a variety of other causes and Democratic races and organizations in the United States.
The financial fortunes of George Soros improved dramatically when he moved to the United States in the 1950s. In 1956 he got a position at F.M. Mayer’s brokerage house in New York. He then moved on to Wertheim and Co. and Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder. While serving as a vice president from 1963 to 1973, at Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Soros began to develop and apply to capital markets the General Theory of Reflexivity first articulated by philosopher Karl Popper. In 1969 using his $250,000 and $4 million of investors’ capital he set up his first hedge fund, the Double Eagle.
By 1973 the Double Eagle Fund was worth $12 million and would later have its name changed. George Soros started his second fund, called the Soros Fund, in 1973. It was later renamed the Quantum Fund. On Black Wednesday in September, 1992, George Soros made an investment move that made him internationally famous. He short-sold $10 billion worth of the British pound and made $1 billion in profit. After that he became known as ‘The man who broke the Bank of England. The UK Treasury is said to have lost £3.4 billion in just one day and George Soros became a legend in investment circles. Read this story at Politico about George Soros.
George Soros is a generous philanthropist. In 1984 he set up the Open Society Institute. Through this organization, headquartered in New York, Soros has given billions of dollars to charitable and philanthropic organizations and causes all around the world. He’s also written extensively on finance, stock trading, geopolitics and economics.