London Business School said today (Sept. 4) that it has been given its largest ever single individual donation by South African businessman and alumnus Nathan Kirsh.
The gift of £10 million, or $15.6 million at current exchange rates, is one of the largest ever received by a business school outside the U.S. The money will contribute to the school’s endowment, which will increase by almost 40% as a result. The school said that the gift is unrestricted, which means it can use the funds for projects of its choosing.
“This extremely generous gift is a real game-changer for the School, allowing us to build our endowment and providing us with the resources we need to build on our world-class position”, said LBS Dean Sir Andrew Likierman in a statement. “The majority of our peer schools have been building their endowments over decades, and in some cases centuries. At almost 50 years old, we’re relative newcomers in comparison, which is why this seminal gift is so important”, he continued.
With his appreciation for London as a global business centre, it was Kirsh’s determination to back a world-class British institution that led him to London Business School. “Nurturing future leaders is essential for business and business schools have a huge part to play in this,” said Kirsh in a statement accompanying the news release. “That’s why supporting business education, in Britain in particular, is so important. My hope is that my gift will act as a stepping stone in the right direction, a benchmark for others to follow.”
Kirsh is a South African entrepreneur and owner of London’s iconic Tower 42. His principal business interest is Jetro Holdings, which operates Jetro Cash and Carry stores and Restaurant Depots in the US – supplying wholesale goods to grocery outlets and restaurants.