George Soros is an American hedge fund manager and philanthropist. Born in Hungary in 1930 to Jewish parents, he survived the Nazi occupation and one of the fiercest battles of World War II in Budapest before emigrating to England, and later, the United States.
He is chairman of Soros Fund Management, a hedge fund company he started in 1969. After decades of success, the company returned most investors’ money in 2011, to focus on managing Soros’ fortune. Over the course of its operations, the firm’s primary vehicle, called the Quantum Fund, is reported to have generated more than $40 billion in returns. A $1,000 investment in the fund in 1969 would be worth $4 million in 2000, according to some estimates.
Soros is one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of more than $20 billion.
As an investor, Soros is known as a highly sophisticated short-term speculator prone to bold gambles in financial markets around the globe. In 1992, he earned the title “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England” for his trades during the Black Wednesday U.K. currency crisis. His short sale of $10 billion worth of pounds, netted him a profit of more than $1 billion at the time.
His investment style often brought controversy. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, accused Soros of using his wealth to spur the 1997 Asian financial crisis, though he would recant the accusation years later.
In 2002, Soros was convicted by a French appeals court and fined 2.2 million Euros for allegedly selling shares of Société Générale using insider knowledge that the bank was a takeover target.
In recent years, Soros has made headlines as a vocal supporter of liberal causes, as a deep-pocketed political donor and as a philanthropist. He chairs the Open Society Foundations, which he founded in 1979 with a mission to “build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.”
An active philanthropist, Soros donated $8 billion to various causes between 1979 and 2011.
George Soros: Early Life and Education
InvestingLearn about some of the most successful trades famed investor George Soros has made during his career, including a billion dollar profit against the pound.
InvestingDoes Soros sense new opportunities on the horizon?
InvestingInvesting like Soros requires guts and confidence. Investors can learn much from his patience, discipline and research methods.
Managing WealthGeorge Soros spent decades as one of the world's elite investors, and even he didn't always come out on top. But when he did, it was spectacular.
Financial AdvisorLearn about what George Soros is holding in his portfolio, including his large options position in the S&P 500 and what popular Internet stock he liquidated.
InsightsLegendary Investor George Soros Still Profited From Brexit Because of His Bearish Outlook on World Markets