|Net Worth:||$9 Billion|
|Nationality:||United States of America|
What is Robert F. Smith’s net worth?
Robert F. Smith is an American entrepreneur and humanitarian who has a net worth of $9 billion. Robert F. Smith is one of the top 125 richest Americans and the richest black individual in the country.
He signed the Giving Pledge for the first time as a black man in 2017. Being a committed philanthropist, he has already taken swift action to donate significant sums of money. This article will go into more information about his generosity later.
Robert founded Vista Equity Partners LLC and served as its Chairman and CEO, which contributed to his wealth. Vista Equity Partners now manages more than $50 billion in assets and has produced an annual average return of more than 30% since its inception. The world’s top investment firm, Vista, was established in 2000.
Its early differentiation and current success came from its focus on businesses in the software and technology sectors. Smith’s training as a chemical engineer was a major factor in Vista’s early recognition of the software industry as a promising investment market.
Robert F. Smith was born on December 1, 1962, in Denver, Colorado. He is a fourth-generation Coloradan. Smith’s parents were teachers who earned their doctorate in education during his early years.
From the first grade on, Smith boarded a bus across the city to attend a desegregated school that had outstanding resources. When Smith first encountered computers in high school, his propensity for STEM education became clear.
Smith notably asked for an internship at Bell Labs during his junior year of high school but was first turned down. The program was only open to junior and senior college students, which was an issue. Smith wasn’t deterred. For two weeks, he contacted Bell Labs’ H.R. Director every single day.
After that, he started calling only once a week on Mondays for the next five months. The H.R. Director finally phoned him back after the M.I.T. intern failed to show up in June to begin the internship, and Smith was offered the position.
He created an operational amplifier reliability test during his summer internship at Bell Labs. In his speech at the Morehouse College commencement in 2019, Smith referred to this time as “The Joy of Figuring Things Out.” Furthermore, Smith says it was a formative experience that influenced his future career.
He was hired by Goodyear Tire and Rubber after graduating from Cornell University with a B.S. in chemical engineering. Then, from 1986 to 1992, he was employed by Kraft as a chemical engineer. He obtained two European patents while working at Kraft.
Robert ultimately made the decision to return to school to acquire an MBA. He was hired by Goldman Sachs upon his graduation from Columbia University with an MBA. He provided advice on $50 billion in technology merger and acquisition agreements while working at Goldman.
As we previously indicated, Robert F. Smith created Vista Equity Partners not long after leaving Goldman in 2000. The venture capital/private equity firm specializes in funding software companies with passive income and in the technology sector.
The business has locations in Austin, Texas, Chicago, New York, Oakland, and San Francisco. As of the time of writing, they are responsible for managing more than $81 billion in assets and operating more than 50 software businesses with a combined workforce of 65,000 individuals worldwide.
With that many employees, Vista is now the fourth-largest corporate software company in the world, behind SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft. Private equity, long-term capital, credit, and public equity are all included in Vista’s investing strategy.
Vista wants to invest in businesses that are prepared to extend their software and platform offerings to a larger audience. Vista also supports its products while directing sustainable growth in its acquisitions.
Vista prefers to acquire software firms that have a specialized market of perpetually paying customers who use the program on a monthly or annual basis. The beauty of these enterprises is that the majority of the time, only the essential parts of the software are written.
Then, it is occasionally maintained with small patches and improvements, but in the interim, those annual costs are still paid. MINDBODY, a fitness platform, is a good illustration. MINDBODY is software that assists clients in making reservations for classes and services in yoga studios, spas, and fitness centers around the US.
There’s a very good possibility that you’ve used MINDBODY’s software if you’ve ever used an iPad to sign up for a class at a gym or yoga studio. The program is adored by the studio/gym/spa because it enables them to receive expert services for a reasonably low monthly price that they never stop paying. MINDBODY was purchased by Vista in December 2018 for $1.9 billion.
In order to end a four-year tax crime probe, Robert agreed to pay $140 million in October 2020. Through the use of offshore accounts, Smith was accused of dodging taxes. Robert had to agree to admit wrongdoing in order for the government to agree to withdraw its accusations as part of the settlement.
The $140 million settlement included interest, fines, and overdue taxes. Federal prosecutors said that Robert evaded taxes on almost $200 million in income that was transferred from Vista to a number of offshore companies about 10 months prior to the deal.
Wealthiest Black American
The richest black man in America right now is Robert F. Smith. He surpassed media mogul Oprah Winfrey for a long time as the richest Black American. Oprah had a net worth of $3.3 billion at the time, compared to Robert’s $2.5 billion.
Smith’s net worth was revealed to have risen to $4.5 billion in March 2018, making him the richest black person in America. Robert F. Smith was essentially unknown at the time.
Robert was the second-richest black person in the world as of May 2019 with a net worth of $5 billion, trailing only $10 billion-rich Nigerian oil tycoon Aliko Dangote.
Robert joined the Warren Buffett and Bill Gates-led philanthropic campaign known as The Giving Pledge in May 2017. Under this initiative, billionaires are urged to donate the bulk (at least 50%) of their wealth either during their lifetimes or after they pass away.
This vow was an opportunity for him to set a goal for himself and motivate others rather than his foray into philanthropy. Currently, Smith’s philanthropy is focused on educational equity, but he has other interests.
The group has completed projects funded by grants in the areas of health, internships, STEM and music education, African American history, and protecting access to open spaces and the outdoors.
Through the Fund II Foundation, Smith has matched or increased donations to give grants to internX, Student Freedom Initiative, The Sphinx Organization, and other deserving organizations.
During the class of 2019’s commencement speech at Morehouse College in May 2019, Robert F. Smith declared he would be repaying all of their debt.
The most recent initiative Smith has worked on is “One Stock. One Future is a campaign to promote financial literacy that uses the technology app Goalsetter to engage children and their families in saving and making plans for the future.
Smith is the chairman of the nonprofit initiative known as the Student Freedom Initiative, which was created as a result of his Morehouse contribution. In 2016, Smith made history by becoming the first African American to hold a position on the board of Carnegie Hall.
Smith is on the Cornell Engineering College Council and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Board of Directors. Additionally, Smith holds positions on the Business Roundtable’s at-large board and the board of overseers of Columbia Business School.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture was given $20 million by him. Giving his alma mater, Cornell University, $20 million, he also donated $10 million for STEM scholarships for female and African American students.
Smith has also given millions of dollars to a variety of charities, including the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the National Park Foundation, DonorsChoose, and other organizations.
Robert and Hope are homeowners in New York City, Florida, and Los Angeles. They spent $18 million on a Malibu oceanfront property in 2018. This house, which is on the fittingly named “Billionaires Beach,” was put on the market for $24.5 million in November 2020.
In January 2021, they sold the house for the amount they had proposed. They purchased a second house in Malibu from Real Housewives star Yolanda Hadid in 2016 for $19.5 million.
They spent an absurd $59 million for a Chelsea condo in 2018 to purchase a residence in New York City. Since then, the couple has extensively renovated the condo. For two properties in North Palm Beach, they paid $48.2 million in November 2020.
Robert was wed to Suzanne McFayden from 1988 till 2017. Together, they have three kids. Hope Dworaczyk, a former Playboy model, and Robert have been wed since 2015. Hope wore a dress made by Naeem Khan to the wedding.
John Legend’s song “For the First Time” played as she made her way down the aisle and into Smith’s arms. At the wedding, which took place at the opulent Villa Cimbrone on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, the musician Seal apparently also gave a performance.
Hope served as the Playmate of the Year for 2010 and the Playmate of the Month for April 2009. Together, she and Robert have four kids. Hope founded and currently serves as the CEO of the MUTHA skincare brand.
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