Petr Kellner

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Petr Kellner born 20 May, 1964 is a Czech businessman. He was estimated to have a net worth of $11.4 billion according to Forbes list of billionaires, making him the wealthiest person in the Czech Republic and the 102nd richest person in the world as of 10 August 2016.  In June 2019, Forbes estimated his net worth at $15.5 billion ranking him 73rd on Forbes’ list.

Petr Kellner graduated from the University of Economics, Prague Faculty of Industrial Economics, in 1986.  After the Velvet Revolution he worked for the Czech company Impromat, an importer and seller of Ricoh photocopiers. While working for that company, he met Milan Maděryč and Milan Vinkler.Petr started his career by selling office supplies in 1990.  In 1991, after the announcement of Czechoslovak voucher privatization, he founded the investment fund PPF (První privatizační fond)  with Milan Vinkler and state-owned glassworks Sklo Union. In 1992, PPF investiční společnost a.s. was established and the funds’ names were changed from privatization to investment. This helped him go through the first wave of coupon privatization. Following this, he made a massive advertising campaign, attracting and persuading investors to invest in his firm.  The funds were very successful and purchased stock of more than 200 corporations with nominal value 5 billion

In 1995 and 1996, PPF bought a 20% stake in the largest Czech insurance company, Česká pojišťovna and started to manage it. In 2000, PPF bought 31.5% stake of Česká pojišťovna from IPB for 2.85 billion CZK. The transaction with IPB ended up with IPB paying to PPF 1.6 billion CZK penalty, making the real purchasing cost of the stake 1.25 billion CZK. Later PPF acquired more shares and became the dominant (93%) owner in 2001, when PPF bought large stakes of shares from Komerční banka and the Czech state.  With help of these profitable transactions, the last investors from voucher privatization were bought out and Petr Kellner became the dominant owner of PPF group.

In 2007, PPF group signed a contract with Assicurazioni Generali to create a joint venture between PPF Group’s insurance branch and Assicurazioni Generali’s corporations in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. According to sources PPF Group will own 49% of that company from the start, and Generali will pay €1.1 billion to the PPF Group for its stake. Petr Kellner became member of the Board of Directors of Generali. Kellner himself later bought 2.02% stake in Assicurazioni Generali.In 2013 Kellner’s PPF sold their remaining shares in the Generali PPF Holding (GPH) to Generali for €2.5 billion, who became sole owner effective at year end of 2014.  As of 2015 Kellner is no longer a member of the Generali Board.

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Just like other billionaires, in addition to his business activities, Kellner is a patron for education, sport and culture. He established Open Gate Grammar School for underprivileged children, and a school for disabled children. He also supports a number of galleries and theatres through his company. He combined Kellner Family Foundation and Educa, his two foundations, to make one big foundation, which has become one of the biggest donors for education in Czech Republic.