Accomplished in business, finance, media, politics, and philanthropy, Zdenek Bakala is a proud citizen of both the Czech Republic and the United States who strives to provide opportunity and challenge for others to improve their lives, even as he has achieved great success for himself. At the age of nineteen Zdenek emigrated to the United States, won admission to the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with honors in economics and earned a scholarship to pursue his MBA at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where he graduated, also with honors, in the spring of 1989. Meanwhile, Zdenek’s home country was being transformed by the Velvet Revolution, peacefully led by the dissident playwright Václav Havel, from a communist into a rudimentary and emerging capitalist economy. In 1994 Zdenek, who already gained his experience in investment banking in New York at Drexel Burnham Lambert and Bank of America, then at Credit Suisse First Boston in London and in Prague co-founded the first private investment bank in the Czech Republic, Patria Finance. In 2004, ever seeking new opportunites and challenges, Zdenek and several partners founded BXR Group with a central European and global investment focus. Today Zdenek remains very much involved in the business world. With his wife, Michaela, he founded BM Management, which holds and manages several companies in the Czech Republic involved in real estate, retail, media and publishing, and a large-scale multipurpose complex. He also remains active as an investor in various projects worldwide.
A wonderful example of the “self-made man,” Zdenek is profoundly aware of the opportunities he has been so fortunate to have. As a result, he is keen on creating new opportunities for younger people who may wish to expand their horizons. Establishing scholarships and the Bakala Chair in Management at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, providing support for talented Czech students studying at universities abroad through the Bakala Foundation, developing Central European leadership in politics, business, science, and the arts through the Aspen Institute, supporting talented and ambitious college students from their adopted home in Switzerland who wish to pursue higher studies abroad through the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala, promoting the legacy of human rights and literary distinction of the first president of the Czech Republic in founding the Václav Havel Library in Prague – these are but a few of the continuing charitable and humanitarian endeavors of Zdenek and his wife, Michaela. In addition, Zdenek is a member of the Board of Overseers at Tuck School of Business of Dartmouth College, among other charitable and eleemosynary groups. More about Zdenek and Michaela Bakala Philanthropy.