Nicholas Frank Oppenheimer

Nicky Oppenheimer

Nicky Oppenheimer was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He joined Anglo American Corporation in 1968 as Personal Assistant to the Chairman and worked subsequently in the Gold and Diamond Divisions of the Corporation. He spent eighteen months in the London office of De Beers before returning to Johannesburg in June 1975 to join the Gold Division of the Corporation.

He was appointed a director of Anglo American Corporation in January 1974 and a director of De Beers in March 1978. In March 1981 he was made a member of the Executive Committee of the board of Anglo American Corporation and became Deputy Chairman in 1983. He subsequently resigned as Deputy Chairman in 2001 but remains a non-executive director of the Anglo American board.

In June 1984 he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the then Central Selling Organisation (now DTC) in London and Deputy Chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines in January 1985. Later that year, in April, he became Chairman of the London operations of the Diamond Trading Company.

In March 1990 he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the newly formed Swiss based company, De Beers Centenary AG. Nicky Oppenheimer became Chairman of the De Beers Group on 1 January 1998. He retired in 2012.

As cricket players and enthusiastic supporters of the game, Nicky and his son, Jonathan, maintain a cricket ground at Randjesfontein, sponsor matches between local and overseas teams and promote the development of the sport at every level.

Keen supporters of wildlife and conservation projects, including the Diamond Birding Route, Nicky and Strilli Oppenheimer have won awards for their generous commitment to preserving the habitat and encouraging education in the field of conservation.