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Introduction by Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman of De Beers Intangible Assets Co., Ltd.

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Who is Nicky Oppenheimer?

abstract: nikki oppenheimer is the grandson of ernest oppenheimer, born in johannesburg on june 8, 1945, and is currently chairman of de beers intangible assets limited.
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Nicky Oppenheimer Biography

in 1902, ernest oppenheimer, a poor jewish boy, travelled from germany to south africa to join the then-emerging diamond rush.

in 1917, he used the money he earned to register anglo american, south africa’s first mining company, and set his sights on de beers, then the largest diamond mining and sales company. through brutal price competition, ernest finally became president of de beers diamonds in 1929.

nikki, ernest’s grandson, was born in johannesburg on june 8, 1945. as the heir to the world’s largest diamond kingdom, nikki was sent to england from an early age by her father harry. his secondary school was completed at harrow, where he graduated from seven british prime ministers. he attended the university and the same major of choice as his father, a major in political philosophy and economics at christ church college, oxford university.

after graduating from college, nikki married oselia, the daughter of industrial tycoon hayley lesh, in 1968. in the same year, nikki entered the family business, working out at the grassroots level for a while, then becoming a personal assistant to her father, harry, to receive the word “king” for the diamond kingdom. harry was second in 1984, but he was in no hurry to get nikki on the frontbench. because of this time, canada, russia and australia and other places have discovered rich diamond mines, a serious threat to de beers monopoly position. harry gave the company the power to more experienced managers. he didn’t take over as chairman of the board until 1998, when he was 53.

De Beer Diamond Brand Development History

There have been many times to turn the crisis into an opportunity

harry’s hard work has not been in vain, and nikki has proved to be a crisis-handler.

in 1994, de beers was subject to u.s. government antitrust investigations and sanctions for allegedly conspiring with general electric to manipulate industrial diamond prices. de beers pleaded guilty and paid a $10 million fine. since then, de beers has been barred from entering the u.s. market directly, and even top executives have been arrested once they enter the u.s. this has severely affected de beers’ sales in the united states, the world’s largest diamond market. when nikki became president of de beers, he came up with a way to get around the sanctions. in 2001, de beers opened its first de beers diamond retail store in manhattan through a joint venture with louis vuitton, a well-known french luxury brand. because it is owned by louis vuitton agent de beers, it will not be subject to u.s. sanctions. the move also marks the official entry of the 113-year-old de beers into the diamond retail industry, having previously only mined and sold rough diamonds (or diamond embryos). this major strategic shift has lengthened de beers’ industrial chain and brought it new profit growth points.

a wave of flat, a wave of up and after. de beers’ diamonds have been denounced as “blood diamonds” by governments and human rights groups in several countries, and because rebels in the latter three countries have used money from diamond sales to buy arms to finance civil wars, which have been denounced as “blood diamonds” by governments and human rights groups in many countries. nikki once again showed great resilience in the face of the crisis. he led de beers in launching the kimberley process with the united nations, governments and human rights organizations. this is an industry guide that regulates and tracks the origin of diamonds. kimberley is a city in south africa, where nikki’s grandfather, ernest, started and served as its mayor. nearly 60 diamond-producing countries have joined the kimberley process. since the implementation of the process, the share of “blood diamonds” in the world diamond trade has fallen from 4 per cent to 0.2 per cent. the kimberley process not only changed de beers’ image, but also strengthened the company’s control of the global supply chain by cracking down on illicit trading. once again, nikki turned the crisis into a turnaround!

Complete monopoly and then let go completely

de beers has been listed on the johannesburg stock exchange for 108 years in 2000, but its share price has been low. de beers’ share price was $17 on december 31, 1989 and $12 per share on december 31, 1998. nikki argues that shareholders do not recognize de beers’ value and that there is no need for the company to continue to make money for them. in july of that year, nikki came up with a startling plan: a joint family and anglo-american company to buy almost all of de beers’ stake and turn him into a downright private company. in 2001, 93 per cent of de beers shareholders overwhelmingly voted to allow anglo american and the oppenheimer family to buy de beers for $19.7 billion, the largest commercial acquisition in south african commercial history and the biggest restructuring of the world’s diamond industry since world war ii. since then, the oppenheimer family has monopolized 90% of the world’s diamond market.

the good times erred, and in 2008, when the financial crisis hit many industries, global demand for diamonds stagnated, falling by nearly half. de beers’ diamond business has been hit, with market share gradually falling to 80%, 60%, 40% … de beers had to move from a quest to control the supply of diamonds to a focus on yields.

nicky has again made the difficult decision to sell de beers to anglo american. “after careful and thorough consideration of the equity transfer option, we believe it is in the best interests of the family and have therefore agreed to accept anglo’s offer,” nikki said in a press release. anglo american has been a major shareholder in de beers since 1926 and has a deep understanding of the diamond business, so it is a natural home for our family’s interests.”

The future can be easily lived

after the sale, nikki did not say where the oppenheimer family members had gone. one industry analyst thinks nikki may choose to retire and stay away from business while enjoying the idyllic pleasures while continuing to pursue his favorite philanthropy.

niki people are very low-key in life, like easy life. his office in london is a modest building; he doesn’t like to make a splash in the media, and he goes straight and never does even in interviews. when asked why he chose to work in a family business? he replied, “i don’t have that imagination, i don’t know what else i can do.” “does the reporter ask him if he likes opera and drama?” his answer was more direct – “i don’t like it.” i’m a layman. “his hobbies are walking dogs and reading detective stories, and he is also an avid cricket fan and has his own cricket team. the way he entertains his friends is also low-key. he has a clubhouse in the south african desert, a typical tswana village style, with luxurious facilities that can accommodate up to 32 guests at a time. “we can look at the scenery with our binoculars, ride in hot air balloons, and we can’t find that anywhere else!” born in johannesburg, he likes to call himself an “african” and advocates genuine help for africa, rather than donating money. “africa has become ‘donor fatigue’!”

How did Nicky Oppenheimer make his money?

The majority of Oppenheimer’s fortune is derived from the proceeds he collected selling his family’s 40% stake in De Beers, the world’s largest rough diamond producer, to Anglo American for $5.2 billion in August 2012.

How rich is the De Beers family?

His son Harry consolidated the family wealth with De Beers and Anglo American – a pile, according to Forbes, that stands at $7.5 billion AT Apr 1, 2020

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