Open Society Receives Its Largest Donation Ever From George Soros

George Soros, billionaire philanthropist and founder of Open Society Foundation, has transformed Open Society to the second-biggest charity organization in the United States – behind Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – with a single donation of $18 billion. This move transformed both the philanthropic group and the firm that supplies its wealth. Open Society Foundation now holds the bulk of Mr. Soros’s fortune which has moved it to the top tier of philanthropic organizations. It is currently the second largest in the U.S right after the Bill and Melinda

The 87-year-old founder of Soros Fund Management LLC now shares influence over the firm with an Open Society investment committee. Even though the committee and its chairman were set up by Mr. Soros, the committee was meant to survive him those close to him have said. The new chief investment officer at the Soros organization is more an allocator of capital (to the different external and internal asset managers) than a trader. Unlike past investment chiefs, this new Chief Investment Official doesn’t have to report to Mr. Soros or anyone else at the firm, He reports only to the investment committee.

Sources close to Mr. Soros also say he has no plans to trade the billions now belonging to Open Society. Since he bet (wrongly) that stock prices would drop after Donald Trump was elected as President, Mr. Soros has been doing trade using his own money, held in a separate account within the firm. Although Soros Fund Management, the $26 billion organization was a pioneer hedge fund corporation, it became a family office several years ago after returning the money to outside investors. A family office is a type of office structure with growing popularity among wealthy families and is mostly free of regulations.

Mr. Soros began his philanthropic activities in 1979 when he stepped up to be an active voice in the fight against communism across Eastern Europe. In 1984, he set up a foundation in his birth country, Hungary. The goal of the foundation was to break the government’s hold on information by distributing photocopiers to libraries and universities. Mr. Soros grew up under communism as well as a Nazi-occupied Hungary, and because of that, he hoped to foster an “open society” in places where authoritarian governments reigned. His foundation was named after a book by his teacher (a defender of liberal democracies) Karl Popper.

Today Open Society has a comprehensive mandate that is mostly driven by the values of its founder. It operates in countries like Afghanistan to South Africa through a network of more than 40 offices and foundations. Open Society has funded public health efforts, programs, refugee relief, and even a mobile court to help solve gender crimes in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). Open Society also advocates for rights for the Roma, one of the largest ethnic minorities in Europe.

The foundation’s activities have often angered nationalist government such as the one currently in power in Hungary. Mr. Soros regularly urges developed countries in Europe and across the globe to assist in relieving the burden of increased migration from areas of conflicts.

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