In 1991 George Kaiser bought the Bank of Oklahoma out of federal receivership for $60 million. Under his watch shares in the bank are up average...
In 1991 George Kaiser bought the Bank of Oklahoma out of federal receivership for $60 million. Under his watch shares in the bank are up average 13% a year ever since, and his stake is now worth $2.7 billion. Ask Kaiser what happened with Solyndra -- the solar company he backed that failed after receiving hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds -- and he chalks it up to competition from low-cost solar gear from Chinese companies that got even more handouts from their government. It's too bad that his Solyndra investment garnered Kaiser more attention than anything else he's ever done. The Tulsa tycoon deserves to be better known for his $3 billion George Kaiser Family Foundation, which doles out more than $40 million a year -- most of it for early childhood education. Kaiser's family fled Nazi Germany and settled in Tulsa, where his uncle founded Kaiser-Francis Oil Company. George inherited control in the late 1960s. He's now pursuing oil plays in North Dakota, Wyoming and Canada. Kaiser also founded Excelerate Energy, which ships liquefied natural gas around the world. Other assets include a large number of private equity investments, including printer company Memjet, hypoallergenic latex maker Yulex, and a stake in India's Bombay Stock Exchange.
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