The multi-billionaire funder of Democratic and liberal causes said the 37-year-old had an ‘earned’ 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 major supporter of liberal and democratic causes, confirmed the plan to Reuters news agency after the Wall Street Journal initially reported it in an interview with Soros published on Sunday.
Soros, 92, previously said he did not want his Open Society Foundation (OSF) to be taken over by one of his five children.
But she told the Journal she had a change of heart.
“He’s earned it,” the elder Soros said of his 37-year-old son, known as Alex.
OSF is active in more than 120 countries and provides nearly $1.5 billion a year to strengthen civil society, advance human rights and fight corruption, including Global Witness and the International Crisis Group.
Also in newspaper interviews, Alex described himself as “more political” than his father and said he planned to continue donating family money to left-leaning political candidates in the United States.
She told the Journal that she would broaden the foundation’s priorities from her father’s “generous intentions” to include voting and abortion rights, as well as gender equality.
“As much as I want to get money out of politics, as long as the other side is doing it, we have to do it,” Alex said.
The OSF board elected Alex as chairman in December, and he now directs political activities as president of Soros’ political action committee in the United States.
George Soros was born in Hungary in 1930 and survived Nazi occupation after his family secured false identity papers and helped other Jewish families do the same. He described the profession as his most “formative experience”.
Soros built a successful career as a financier and began his philanthropy in 1979 by providing scholarships to black South Africans living under apartheid.
He later began working on issues related to freedom of thought and expression by visiting academics in the West and supporting newly independent cultural groups starting in Hungary.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, he created the Central European University in Budapest to foster 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. In 2018 OSF closed its Budapest office and moved CEU to Vienna following the “Stop Soros” campaign led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party.