Zdenek Bakala is a Czech-born investor and world-wide philanthropist. He started his career in 1989 at Drexel Burnham Lambert investment bank in New York and then moved to Bank of America. In 1994, Zdenek founded Patria Finance, the Czech Republic’s very first private investment banking group. In 2004, he was one of the founders of a global investment group BXR, and he remains active as an investor in various projects worldwide.
A special place among his investments has Czech media house Economia, of which Zdenek is 100% owner. He sees his involvement as a public service and part of his long-standing promise to foster free and independent journalism.
Zdenek is a very keen philanthropist. His contributions have always gravitated towards cultural or intellectual development and human rights. In 2007, he founded the Bakala Foundation in Prague, which provides scholarships at leading universities abroad to talented Czech students. He also supports the Vaclav Havel Library as a centre for the documentation and research of modern Czech history, with an emphasis on promoting the ideas and works of former Czech president Vaclav Havel. He initiated the opening of the Central European affiliate of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies non-profit organisation. As a natural corollary of Zdenek’s life-long interest in modern art, design and architecture, he is a primary supporter of the world’s biggest museum of contemporary design and architecture – the Design Museum in London, where he also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Board of Overseers at his alma mater, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Zdenek Bakala is married to Michaela Bakala, with whom he has four children. They’ve been living in Switzerland.