Henry Arnhold, the last member of a generation of prominent German Jewish bankers who escaped Nazi persecution, re-established their family business in the New World and later helped rebuild Dresden after the fall of the Iron Curtain, died on Aug. 23 at his home in Manhattan. He was 96.
The cause was a heart attack, his son, John, said.
Mr. Arnhold was the patriarch of the Arnhold family, which ran a boutique investment bank and brokerage firm and later an investment management company overseeing more than $100 billion in assets.
He was also a philanthropist who funded scholarships at the New School, underwrote programs for PBS and gave tens of millions of dollars each year to helping refugees, the environment and the arts.
Mr. Arnhold was chairman of the Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder bank and its successor businesses from 1960 to 2015, though he stepped away from active management in 1994. He later focused on managing specific client portfolios. He employed George Soros there for a decade beginning in the early 1960s.
Heinrich-Hartmut Richard Gustav Arnhold was born on Sept. 15, 1921, in Dresden. Mr. Arnhold’s father and uncles ran Gebruder Arnhold, a bank the family founded in 1864. Gebruder Arnhold became one of the largest stakeholders in porcelain producers and breweries around Dresden.
In 1931 the bank bought S. Bleichroeder. Just a few years later Nazis forced the Arnholds to sell it to the powerful Dresdner Bank at a severely depressed price.
The family had by then begun to prepare to leave Germany. Mr. Arnhold’s uncles had opened bank offices in Paris, London and New York. They also bought a bank in Switzerland. Mr. Arnhold went to boarding school in Switzerland. His immediate family — his mother, brother and three sisters — moved to the United States. Aunts, uncles and cousins landed in France and Brazil. In 1940, Mr. Arnhold was in Norway with a friend when German security officers arrested him.
He was taken to a concentration camp called Ulven, near Norway’s western coast. Mr. Arnhold was let out of the camp in 1941 but told to stay in Norway. Instead, he sneaked across the border to Sweden using forged identification papers. From there, he caught a boat to Cuba, made his way to the United States and joined the Army. He became the first member of his family to gain United States citizenship.
In 1947, Mr. Arnhold met and married Clarisse Engel de Janosi, known to her friends and family as Sissy. Mr. Arnhold first oversaw the Arnholds’ industrial investments, then became chairman of the bank in 1960.
In 1967, he and Mr. Soros founded the First Eagle Fund NV, an offshore investment fund that was seeded with family money and that Mr. Soros ran. Two years later, Mr. Soros separated from the company to start his own fund.
In addition to his son John and his granddaughter Julia Arnhold, Mr. Arnhold is survived by a grandson, Paul and his nephew Peter Seligmann. His daughter, Michele Elizabeth Arnhold, died in 2007 at 56.