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Forbes Africa | 8 Years And Growing

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Nicky Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer Generations. Picture: Forbes Africa

Nicky Oppenheimer | Oppenheimer Generations

As of September 9, Nicky Oppenheimer and family’s net worth was $7.3 billion, placing him at the 200th spot on the Forbes billionaires list for 2019 and third on the list of African billionaires.

In February 2015, when he graced the cover of FORBES AFRICA, he was worth $6.8 billion. Oppenheimer gives a nod to the publication on its birthday.

“I congratulate FORBES AFRICA on their eighth birthday, and look forward to many more insightful editions on doing business in Africa – and more importantly, how to do business in Africa correctly,” he tells FORBES AFRICA.

“For 85 years until 2012, the Oppenheimer family occupied a controlling spot in the world’s diamond trade,” Forbes.com says.

He then sold 40% of his stake in the diamond firm DeBeers to mining group Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash.

In 2014, Oppenheimer started Fireblade Aviation in Johannesburg, which operates chartered flights with a fleet of three planes and two helicopters.

Oppenheimer also owns at least 720 square miles of conservation land across South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, including the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, the largest private game reserve in South Africa.

“For me and my family, doing business correctly has always involved building sustainable and prosperous African societies through focused engagement across the land, people and cultures which we touch. We’ve spent the last eight years investing across the African continent and will continue to do so,” he says.

Adrian Gore, founder and group chief executive of Discovery Limited. Picture: Supplied

Adrian Gore | Founder and group chief executive of Discovery Limited

Located in the heart of Sandton, South Africa, where businesses come to thrive, is a formidable glass building you can’t miss.

It features an abundance of natural light with most of the building wrapped around a series of sunlit atria that plug into a central concourse.

It is estimated that the largest atrium is big enough to house a Boeing 737.

This new building completed at the beginning of 2018 is a proud testimony of Adrian Gore’s hard work and now houses a “12,000 strong team”.

Gore is the founder and group chief executive of Discovery Limited, an insurance and financial services business that has brought in $6.5 billion over 25 years and he continues to introduce new ideas to the world.

Since featuring on our October issue in 2013 and the December/January issue in 2018, Gore and the business have grown exponentially.

“I marvel at the pace and energy of growth and development since then,” he says.

“At that time, we were in the final sprint of delivering on our five-year ambition which ended in December 2018 – ‘to be the best insurer in the world and a powerful force for social good’,” he adds.

“We expanded our global footprint from five countries to 19; doubled our operating profit; established ourselves as a leader in behavioral insurance; and enhanced the discipline around our operating model, enabling us to scale successfully whilst maintaining our financial performance and staying true to our purpose,” he says.

Looking towards the future, Gore says they have a bold new strategy for 2023 of “leading a global transformation of financial services, impacting 100 million lives, with 10 million directly insured, and being a powerful force for social good”.

He also plans on further growing his other business venture, Discovery Bank.

“We are just getting started and no doubt there will be many learnings along the way. We remain of the view the Bank has considerable potential – both on its own – and as enabler of our South African composite strategy. We are excited about what it will enable us to achieve,” Gore says.

Patrice Motsepe, founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals. Picture: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Patrice Motsepe | Founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals

He will always be known as the man responsible for bringing The Global Citizen Festival to Africa which gathered stars from across the world including Oprah Winfrey, Trevor Noah, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Ed Sheeran and more, in December 2018.

He became a billionaire in 2008. He was the first black African on the Forbes list of world billionaires.

He was also FORBES AFRICA’s very first cover star, when the magazine launched in October 2011.

Patrice Motsepe is the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals (ARM).

And since gracing the FORBES AFRICA cover, he launched a private equity firm, Africa Rainbow Capital, focused on investing in Africa.

After publishing their financial results for the year end 2019, ARM recently said it fell short of expectation under, “strained economic conditions which adversely impacted most of the companies in our portfolio”.

The Intrinsic Net Asset Value (INAV) of the company increased by 2.4% from June 2018, yet they expected the increase to be at least 16% per annum.

ARC now also owns TymeBank.

Motsepe is ranked number eight on Africa’s Billionaires list for 2019, according to Forbes.com.

His estimated net worth is $2.2 billion.

Folorunso Alakija, vice chair of Famfa Oil. Picture: Supplied

Folorunso Alakija | Vice chair of Famfa Oil

There are a few billionaires in Nigeria who can say that they have taken on the government and won.

For FORBES AFRICA’s August 2016 cover, Folorunso Alakija told her story of how she fought tooth-and-nail to get her oil block back.

Today, that fight has driven her to empower other women.

She has since launched Flourish Africa, a non-profit organization aimed at creating a global community that encourages women to thrive in all aspects of their lives.

It was launched in July 2017 and garnered over 2,600 attendees from all over Nigeria and Africa at its first conference held in December that same year.

Her philanthropic efforts have always been something she was passionate about since being part of her Rose of Sharon Foundation 11 years ago.

“Every woman has the potential to be great,” she says.

“If we form a community of like-minded individuals who share a common goal and purpose, we can pull together, make an impact in every community we find ourselves and ultimately, flourish,” she adds.

Today, Alakija is worth $1.1 billion, placing her at number 19 on Forbes’ list of African billionaires 2019.

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