Jonathan Oppenheimer is a South African businessman and philanthropist. He began his career at NM Rothschild & Sons, before moving to Anglo American and subsequently De Beers, where he held a number of senior management roles over two decades.
In 2004 Jonathan was instrumental in the formation of the Brenthurst Foundation, a Johannesburg-based think-tank which examines ways to drive Africa’s sustainable growth. Today, the Foundation is at the frontier of new ideas and innovative actions for strengthening Africa’s economic performance, and as a member of their International Advisory Board, Jonathan plays a key role in its continued success.
As Executive Chairman of Oppenheimer Generations, Jonathan is actively involved in all other aspects of his family’s private, commercial and thought leadership activities, including:
- Oppenheimer Partners, a global investment group with a focus on building a long-term portfolio of businesses by deploying permanent capital, building on the Oppenheimer family’s legacy and commitment towards making a meaningful and positive impact on society.
- Through Tswalu Kalahari, Fireblade Aviation, and a joint venture with South African Michelin-starred chef Jan Hendrik – providing world-class services to clients and strengthening South Africa’s image globally.
- The Oppenheimer Generations Foundation, a philanthropic initiative focused on generating positive impact by unlocking catalytic grants in underfunded areas.
- In 2021, Oppenheimer Generations established an Asia family office in Singapore, creating a platform to catalyse investments between Africa and South East Asia.
Since 2018, Jonathan has sat on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), the oldest international affairs think tank in the United States, committed to advancing the cause of peace through its global network of policy research centres.Jonathan has also supported a number of initiatives in his late wife Jennifer Oppenheimer’s memory, including the Jennifer Oppenheimer Cancer Research Initiative and the JWO Research grant.
Most recently, alongside his father Nicky Oppenheimer, Jonathan founded the South African Future Trust. A scheme launched following the outbreak of Covid-19, to which the Oppenheimer family donated R1 billion. By providing interest-free loans, SAFT has been able to directly support more than 84,000 workers at over 8,500 SMMEs and hopes to create a more resilient and sustainable South African economy in the years to come.
Jonathan is first and foremost a family man, who is passionate about African development and leaving a legacy for the next generation to be proud of.