Jonathan Oppenheimer

Jonathan M. E. Oppenheimer (born 18 November 1969) is a South African billionaire businessman and conservationist, and the director of E. Oppenheimer & Son Ltd,[2] a former chairman of DeBeers and a former vice-president of his family's firm, Anglo American Corporation.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
Born (1969-11-18) 18 November 1969 (age 50)
South Africa
EducationHarrow School
Christ Church, Oxford
Net worthUS$10.8 billion (November 2014)[1]
Spouse(s)Jennifer Ward (d. 2017)
Parent(s)Nicky Oppenheimer
Orcillia "Strilli" (née Lasch) Oppenheimer

Early life and educationEdit

Jonathan is the son of former De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer; he is the great-grandson of Anglo American founder Ernest Oppenheimer, who was the first generation of the family to chair (from 1929) the De Beers diamond mining company in South Africa, founded by Cecil John Rhodes in 1888.[3]

He was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford.[4] He played first-class cricket for Oxford University Cricket Club.[5]


Jonathan Oppenheimer began his career working at N M Rothschild & Sons, then moved to Anglo American, where he became senior vice-president, in 1999. After leaving Anglo American in 2000, he filled numerous senior roles at De Beers diamond mining company, and became chairman, until 2012. He was the third generation of his family to lead De Beers. He was also involved in the transactions to de-list De Beers, in 2001, and to sell the Oppenheimer family stake to Anglo American, in 2012. This sale concluded 85 years of the Oppenheimer family's controlling position in the world's diamond trade.[1] He is currently the director of E. Oppenheimer & Son Ltd.[2]

In 2003, Jonathan and Nicky Oppenheimer published The Brenthurst Initiative, a policy paper on Black economic empowerment in South Africa.

Other activitiesEdit

Oppenheimer has been involved in many aspects of his family’s activities, including establishing the Brenthurst Foundation, a Johannesburg-based think-tank which examines ways to drive Africa's sustainable growth,[citation needed] and the formation of Tana Africa Capital, a joint venture between the Oppenheimer family and Temasek Holdings (Singapore) to pursue African consumer goods business opportunities.[citation needed]

He has sat on boards and advisory panels, including the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Economy (Malawi),[citation needed] established by the Brenthurst Foundation, and Umicore, a listed specialty chemicals company, as a non-executive director.[citation needed] Alongside his father he founded Oppenheimer Generations[6], with interests in various companies and non-profits such as the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance[7].

Oppenheimer purchased Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, immediately ended hunting, and improved conditions for wild animals found there. World Wide Fund for Nature recognized Oppenheimer's conservation work in 2007.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Oppenheimer was married to Jennifer Ward until her death in 2017.[8] He has three children.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Forbes: "Africa's 50 Richest" November 2014
  2. ^ a b "Jonathan Oppenheimer". African Development Bank. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  3. ^ De Beers: "Our History" 2014
  4. ^ Businessweek: "Jonathan M.E. Oppenheimer" 21 November 2014
  5. ^ "Jonathan Oppenheimer". Cricinfo. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Home". Oppenheimer Generations. Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  7. ^ "Gold Room Briefings | We Are Harambeans". Harambeans. Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  8. ^ "'Vibrant force for good', Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer has died". Retrieved 27 March 2018.

External linksEdit