Zdeněk Bakala

Zdeněk Bakala is an international financial investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He focuses his philanthropic activities on the development of democratic society, education and free media.
Shortly after the Velvet Revolution, he helped establish Credit Suisse First Boston's Prague subsidiary. Subsequently, he co-founded Patria Finance, the first private investment bank in the Czech Republic, which played a significant role in many privatization projects.
The bank also played a vital role in issuing the first Czech sovereign bonds, establishing asset management and corporate finance standards, and founding the Prague Stock Exchange, where Zdenek became a member of its first supervisory board. In the following years, he made investments in a wide range of sectors - mineral resources, real estate, transport, media, computer games, and sports. In 2010, Zdenek revitalized a historic industrial site in the Karlin district of Prague, creating the unique administrative and communal complex Forum Karlin. A special place among his investments is the Czech media house Economia.
Zdenek Bakala's philanthropy focuses on supporting and developing democratic society, education, and free media. In 2012, Zdenek and his wife Michaela initiated the opening of the Aspen Institute Central Europe. A friend of the former Czech president Vaclav Havel, Zdenek became a strategic partner and long-term supporter of the Vaclav Havel Library immediately after its founding. He is also a long-term supporter of the Design Museum in London and a trustee of his alma mater, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in the USA.
A firm believer in the power of education, Zdenek and his wife established The Bakala Foundation to sponsor the studies of talented Czech students at prestigious universities abroad in 2007. Throughout 15 years, the program has supported more than two hundred students pursuing careers in many fields of science and humanities, business, cultural and public life in the Czech Republic and abroad.