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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Fund Family Patriarch Dies at 96

News summary by MFWire's editors

The team at a mutual fund family with roots going back more than 200 years is mourning the death of a Jewish patriarch who escaped the Nazis and helped bring the family business across the Atlantic.

Heinrich-Hartmut Richard Gustav Arnhold
September 15, 1921 - August 23, 2018
On August 23, First Eagle Investment Management [profile] chairman emeritus Henry Arnhold, age 96, died of a heart attack while home in Manhattan, the New York Times reports. The Wall Street Journal also reported on Arnhold's death, and the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. also mourned Arnhold's passing, calling him a "transatlantic bridge-builder".

"He was instrumental in leading the transformation of our firm into a globally admired investment organization," writes Mehdi Mahmud, president and CEO of First Eagle. "In addition to a tremendous intellect, Henry was blessed with a tremendous heart. His philanthropy was as extensive as it was engaged."

"He did not simply send gifts; he became involved," Mahmud adds. "He truly was a wealth of knowledge, perspective and wisdom which will be sorely missed. He was always gracious and humble with a mischievous sense of humor. We send our condolences to the Arnhold family, friends, and associates."

Heinrich-Hartmut Richard Gustav Arnhold (known as Henry H. Arnhold) was born in Dresden, Germany. His father and uncles ran Gebruder Arnhold, a bank founded by the family in 1864. In 1931 the bank bought S. Bleichroder, which was founded in 1803, and the combined firm rebrand as Arnhold and S. Bleichroder. Yet the Nazis forced the family to sell the bank, at a deep discount. As the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany worsened, and after the death of Arnhold's father, the family prepared to leave the country, opening bank offices in New York and other cities. While his family moved to the U.S., Arnhold went to boarding school in Switzerland.

A trip to Norway in 1940 led to Arnhold being captured and sent to a concentration camp. When let out of the camp in 1941, he fled Norway for Sweden, then Cuba, then the U.S. He joined the Army and military intelligence, gaining U.S. citizenship. Meanwhile, his uncle brought him into the family bank, which he came to chair in 1960.

Arnhold launched an offshore fund, the First Eagle Fund NV, in 1967 with George Soros, though Soros left two years later to forge his own path. Arnhold shifted to value investing, emphasizing site visits to gauge companies. In 1987 the firm launched its first U.S. mutual fund, the First Eagle Fund of America.

Though Arnhold stepped back from day-to-day management in 1994, he stayed on as chairman until 2015. In the meantime, the family firm sold its brokerage and research business in 2002, gained a private equity backer in 2007, then rebranded as First Eagle Investment Management in 2009. In 2010, Arnhold's son, John Arnhold, passed the CEO title, and in 2015 two more private equity firms bought a majority stake in the firm.

As of December 31, 2017, First Eagle had grown to about $119 billion in AUM.

Arnhold chaired the Mulago Foundation, paid to fix a Dresden pool and rebuild a church and synagogue there, and he even started an exchange student program with the New School in New York.

He is survived by his son, his granddaughter, and his grandson. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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