Robert Agostinelli

Robert Frank Agostinelli (born May 21, 1953) is an Italian American self made billionaire[2] financier who is the chairman and co-founder of private equity firm Rhône Group. Forbes estimates Agostinelli's net worth to be $1.0 billion,[1] ranking him as the 416th richest American. Agostinelli was ranked #124 amongst the richest people in the United Kingdom by the Sunday Times Rich List in 2012[3][4] through to 2018 with a net worth of £689 million.[5][6][7][8][9] In 2018 Financial News ranked Agostinelli as the 18th richest financier in the United Kingdom.[10]

Robert F. Agostinelli
Robert Agostinelli Forbes.jpg
Agostinelli at the Rhône Annual Meeting (2011)
Born (1953-05-21) May 21, 1953 (age 67)
Alma materSt. John Fisher College (B.A)
Columbia University (M.B.A)
Known for
Net worthIncreaseUS$1.0 billion (Forbes)[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Agostinelli was born to Italian immigrant parents outside of Rochester, New York, and attended the Aquinas Institute. He obtained his BA from St. John Fisher College in 1976 and then his MBA at Columbia University. Agostinelli is a certified public accountant.[11]


Agostinelli began his career in financial services at the investment bank Jacob Rothschild in Switzerland from 1981 to 1982 and subsequently joined Goldman Sachs becoming a senior partner where he worked for five years and founded the firm's international mergers and acquisitions business in London and then moved to Lazard Freres as Senior Managing Director in charge of international banking affairs where he was involved in a number of the largest transactions in European takeover history.[12]

In 1995 Agostinelli and Steven Langman started their own firm, the Rhône Group where he has been actively involved in all aspects of the group's strategy and development since its creation, while maintaining and extending the firm's broad base of relationships with private families, key corporate decision makers, institutional investors and senior sovereign government officials. He is actively engaged in the sourcing and monitoring of investments across all industries and leads the firm's investor relations activities. He sits on the supervisory board of Eurazeo.[13][14]

Politics and philanthropyEdit

Agostinelli is a Director and advisor for many European and American philanthropic and civic institutions. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a leading supporter of neoconservative causes.[15] He is one of the Founding Members of the Friends of Israel Initiative.[16] He is former Vice-Chairman of the Council for the United States and Italy (CONSIUSA), a member of the Investment Committee of Corporate World Opportunities of BSI Group and a director and advisor to a number of European and U.S. philanthropic and civic institutions. In 2008 Agostinelli provided substantial funding to the presidential campaigns of John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.[17]

Agostinelli is a friend of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy[18] and former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar. In 2007 President Sarkozy admitted to Le Monde that Agostinelli, his wife and another family had paid the $60,000 per week fee on a luxury villa for him and his family[19] during his 2006 holiday to the United States.[20] Agostinelli has often been seen jogging with Sarkozy.[21][22]

He is a senior member of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation led by the American Patriots Campaign Cabinet,[23] and a senior board director on the American Italian Cancer Foundation.[24] Agostinelli is on the board of trustees of the National Review Institute[25] and the American Veterans Center[26] Agostinelli is known for writing articles in the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times[27] on various political, economic and social issues. Agostinelli was listed in 1997 as a member of the Bilderberg Group.[28][29]

Robert Agostinelli giving a speech in 2011.

In August 2011 Agostinelli gave a speech in the Mahan Reading room at the U.S. Naval War College, where he discussed the potential implications that policy decisions made in response to the 2008 financial crisis could have on U.S. national security[27] Arguing against government decisions to pick winners and losers, he predicted that failure to allow companies to go bankrupt could have pernicious effects on long-term U.S. economic growth, which could lead to unprecedented intrusions into the freedom of American citizens.[30] Agostinelli also warned that deficit spending is giving China increased influence over American affairs, with possible implications for national security.[31] He is also a member of the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors.[32][14]

Friends of Israel InitiativeEdit

A delegation of the Friends of Israel Initiative, which included Agostinelli, met with President Shimon Peres at Beit HaNassi in Jerusalem in July 2011. The delegation included former Spanish Prime Minister José Aznar, former US Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lord David Trimble. The president held a working meeting with the group[33] and presented an overview of the situation in Israel and the region at large.[34] Agostinelli stated: "Israel is a fundamentally important part of the Western world. It is a democracy under fire, and we must be resolute in defence of its legitimacy."[35]

Personal lifeEdit

Agostinelli is based between New York City and Palm Beach, he maintains additional homes in London and Paris, all of which are interior designed by Jacques Grange.[36] In 2014 Agostinelli reportedly purchased the first landmarked estate in Palm Beach known as "La Loma" built by Gustav Maass and John Volk, which was on the market for $14.5 million through Sotheby's International Realty and sold for $12 million. According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2015, Agostinelli is 'building a home in Henley-on-Thames'.[37][38][39] In 2017 The Sunday Times reported that Agostinelli recently spent £25 million on a home in South Kensington, London. He counts Nicolas Sarkozy, George W. Bush,[40][41] Jeb Bush and José María Aznar[42] as close friends. He has also invested £60 million in WeWork.[5]

Associated publicationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Robert Agostinelli". Forbes. 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  2. ^ "Gallery : #1153 Billionaires Robert Agostinelli". 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  3. ^ "Rich List : Agostinelli". The Sunday Times. 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Sunday Times Rich List 2011: The financiers". 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ "View image: Robert F Agostinelli's networth 2013 & 2014". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  7. ^ "View image: Robert F Agostinelli £670 million". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  8. ^ "Robert Agostinelli, the US billionaire behind the latest Treasury tilt". Australian Financial Review. 2014-08-05. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "The UK's richest financiers".
  11. ^ "Magnesita". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  12. ^ "Robert F. Agostinelli CPA: Executive Profile & Biography". Businessweek. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  13. ^ "Eurazeo".
  14. ^ a b "Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade".
  15. ^ "Membership Roster". Council on Foreign Relations. 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  16. ^ "Friends of Israel Initiative: The neoconservatives' eastern front « P U L S E". 2010-07-20. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  17. ^ "Robert Agostinelli Campaign Contributions and Donations". Huffington Post. 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  18. ^ Mirkinson, Jack (2012-05-25). "Murdoch Private Eye Targeted US Hedge Fund Boss". Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  19. ^ "Sarko Kicks Back on Moguls' Dime". 2007-08-19. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  20. ^ "Premier League Liverpool". BBC Sport. 2010-03-14. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  21. ^ "In pictures: Leaders' fitness". BBC News. 2008-08-04.
  22. ^ "In France, "le jogging" is a right-wing activity". Foreign Policy Group. 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  23. ^ "Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  24. ^ "Boards and Staff". American Italian Cancer Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  25. ^ "Board of Trustees". National Review Institute. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Pre-Parade Dinner". American Veterans Center. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  27. ^ a b Agostinelli, Robert F. (2011-08-04). "Agostinelli: Astounding debt nightmare". Washington Times. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  28. ^ "1997 CFR Membership Roster". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  29. ^ "Le Couronnement!". Société Générale de Spéculation. 2008-08-20. Archived from the original on 2015-04-18. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  30. ^ "National Review". National Review. 2011-08-06. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  31. ^ "Financier discusses implications of US Fiscal Situation" (PDF). Naval War College Foundation. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  32. ^ "Staff & Board". Young America's Foundation. Archived from the original on 2015-04-11. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  33. ^ Piper, Michael Collins (August 2, 2010). "Powerful New Lobby Group Set In Motion". American Free Press. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  34. ^ "President Peres hosts delegation from 'Friends of Israel Initiative'". 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  35. ^ "Working Papers". Friends of Israel Initiative. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  36. ^ "Pink in Paris". Habitually Chic. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  37. ^ Davis, Christine (2014-05-22). "'Magical' estate: Merrilyn Bardes' Jungle Road house is on the market". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  38. ^ Hofheinz, Darrell (2014-12-18). "Landmarked Bardes home fetches $12 million". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  39. ^ Bandell, Brian (2014-12-11). "Billionaire buys historic Palm Beach mansion for $12M". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  40. ^ Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. ^ Hobson, Rebecca (2012-03-23). "London's top ten richest newcomers". London Loves Business. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  42. ^ Hernanz, Carlos (2014-03-14). "Agostinelli, el tapado para comprar Deoleo: millonario, italoamericano y amigo de Aznar" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  43. ^ Bowing to Beijing: How Barack Obama is Hastening America's Decline and Ushering A Century of Chinese Domination: Brett M. Decker, William C. Triplett II: 9781596982895. ASIN 1596982896.CS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)
  44. ^ Decker, Brett M. (2011-10-26). "Three cheers for colonialism". Washington Times. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  45. ^ Cohan, William D. (2008). "It's a White Man's World" (PDF). The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. Anchor. ISBN 978-0767919791.