World’s Ninth-richest Man, Steve Ballmer Commits $400M To Black-Led Companies

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(Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

Ballmer, 66, has a net worth of $85.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. About $76 billion of his fortune is tied to shares of Microsoft, the company he ran for more than a decade.


Steve Ballmer, the world’s ninth-richest person, is investing $400 million in funds tied to Black venture-capital and private equity managers.

The former Microsoft Corp. chief executive officer, along with his wife Connie, are putting money toward a fund-of-funds strategy with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Fairview Capital, according to a statement on the Ballmer Group’s website.

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They’ll also work with Ariel Investments, GCM Grosvenor Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“We haven’t traditionally focused on investments and private equity, but we are just incredibly excited to take this approach,” Ballmer said in the statement. “We hope it will signal to other investors the value in giving Black investment managers access to capital.”

Ballmer, 66, has a net worth of $85.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. About $76 billion of his fortune is tied to shares of Microsoft, the company he ran for more than a decade. He also owns the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.

The largest single commitment from the Ballmers is $200 million to Project Black, a private equity fund managed by Ariel Investments’s alternatives arm, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported on the investments earlier Wednesday. Ariel is led by co-CEOs John Rogers and Mellody Hobson.

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The money came from Ballmer’s own assets and not his Ballmer Group, though the investments align with the organization’s goal to improve economic mobility in the US, according to the statement.

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