George Soros passes control of his empire to son Alexander

Adeyemi Adeyemi

Global Courant

Multibillionaire financier of Democratic and liberal causes says the 37-year-old has “earned” a job at the helm of a $25 billion empire.

Billionaire hedge fund manager turned philanthropist George Soros has decided to hand over control of his $25 billion philanthropic and financial empire to his son Alexander.

A spokesman for Soros, a leading advocate of liberal and democratic causes, confirmed the plan to Reuters news agency after it was initially reported by the Wall Street Journal in an interview with Soros published Sunday.

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Soros, 92, said earlier that he did not want his Open Society Foundations (OSF) to be taken over by any of his five children.

But he told the Journal that he had changed his mind.

“He deserved it,” the older Soros said of his 37-year-old son known as Alex.

Operating in more than 120 countries, OSF channels approximately $1.5 billion annually to strengthen civil society, promote human rights and fight corruption, including Global Witness and the International Crisis Group.

Also interviewed by the newspaper, Alex described himself as “more political” than his father and said he intended to continue donating family money to leftist political candidates in the United States.

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He told the Journal he would also broaden the foundation’s priorities from his father’s “liberal goals” to voting and abortion rights and gender equality.

“As much as I’d like to get money out of politics, as long as the other side is doing it, we’re going to have to do it too,” Alex said.

The OSF board elected Alex as chairman in December and he now leads political activities as chairman of the Soros political action committee in the US.

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Born in Hungary in 1930, George Soros survived the Nazi occupation after his family obtained false identity papers and helped other Jewish families do the same. He has described the occupation as his most “formative experience”.

Soros went on to build a successful career as a financier and began his philanthropic work in 1979, giving scholarships to black South Africans living under apartheid.

He later began working on issues related to freedom of thought and expression by funding academic visits to the West and supporting nascent independent cultural groups, starting in Hungary.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, he founded the Central European University in Budapest as a space to promote critical thinking.

Soros has long been a target of right-wing and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists in the United States, his native Hungary and elsewhere. OSF closed its Budapest office in 2018 and moved the CEU to Vienna following a “Stop Soros” campaign led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party.

George Soros passes control of his empire to son Alexander

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