Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

# 194 George Kaiser $8.28B

Random fact: Sued by mineral rights owners for underreporting gas volumes.

Overview

Kaiser owns Kaiser-Francis Oil, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company with wells across the U.S. He also owns two pipeline systems and has a majority stake in publicly traded BOK Financial, which has more than $40 billion in assets. The billionaire also has investments with the private equity firm Argonaut Capital.

As of :
Last change -$9.31M ( -0.1%)
YTD change -$1.85B ( -18.3%)
Industry Energy
Biggest asset Pipelines
Citizenship United States
Age 76
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

George Kaiser's net worth of $8.28B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Most of Kaiser's fortune is derived from oil and gas assets including closely held Kaiser-Francis Oil. He's the company's sole owner, based on legal disclosures. Kaiser-Francis releases no information regarding its size or operations. The valuation is based on 2017 production data compiled by energy research firm IHS Herold and published in the Oil and Gas Financial Journal. Production is valued against average 2018 prices as published by the Energy Information Agency and compared with four public peer companies.

Kaiser also owns 54% of BOK Financial, according to its 2019 proxy statement. Of these shares, more than 60% have been pledged as collateral and are deducted from his sharecount. BOK Financial has more than $40 billion in assets, according to its website in November 2019.

Other holdings include Argonaut Capital, a private equity firm. Kaiser has invested in two of Argonaut's funds and these are valued using figures from a 2018 ADV filing. Prior to November 2019 all of Argonaut's stated AUM of approximately $3 billion had been assigned to Kaiser. This change resulted in a drop in his wealth estimate of about $1.9 billion.

Kaiser owns all of LNG importer Excelerate Energy. The valuation is based on the market value of the company's fleet of eight LNG regasification vessels, according to ship valuation service, VesselsValue. Leverage is calculated at 50% based on the average ratio of debt-to-total assets of peers.

Pipelines Texas Southwest and Senex are valued using fees disclosed in a 2010 lawsuit, volume reported to regulators through 2013 and the valuation metrics of a dozen industry peers. A 9% discount was applied in May 2019 due to a lack of transparency. The discount was calculated based on the average share price movement of five peers since 2013.

Renzi Stone at Saxum, a spokesperson for Kaiser, did not respond to requests for comment.

Biography

Birthdate: 9/15/1943
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: Harvard Business School, Harvard College

George Kaiser built his fortune through Kaiser-Francis Oil, an oil and gas exploration company his father created after fleeing Nazi Germany. Kaiser took the reins of the business in 1969, after earning an undergraduate degree and an MBA from Harvard University. The closely held company produces oil and gas through more than 4,400 wells in Oklahoma, according to a 2010 lawsuit deposition in which a Kaiser-Francis employee stated the figure.

In 1991, Kaiser purchased Bank of Oklahoma convertible stock owned by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. At the time, the 20-location bank held $1.6 billion in assets. Kaiser expanded the bank into eight other Midwestern and Southwestern states, growing deposits to more than $21 billion. Today, he is the chairman and majority shareholder of BOK Financial. His charitable organization, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, owns another 4 percent of the banking outfit.

In 2003, with natural gas supply predicted to be inadequate in the U.S., Kaiser formed Excelerate Energy, a liquified natural gas (LNG) import company that owns floating import and regasification terminals off the coasts of Boston, Argentina, Kuwait, the U.K., and elsewhere. It also operates LNG shipping services. He sold half of Excelerate for $500 million to publicly traded German company RWE AG in 2008. He bought that half back in 2013 for less than $50 million, based on RWE disclosures.

Using the profits from Kaiser-Francis and BOK, Kaiser founded Argonaut Ventures, a venture capital arm that has a variety of investments, including a tanker company, the Bombay Stock Exchange, laser printer technology firm Memjet and failed solar outfit Solyndra. The billionaire directed more than $3 billion into his foundation between 2003 to 2013, according to IRS filings.

Kaiser lives in Tulsa and San Francisco with his wife.

Milestones
  • 1943 George B. Kaiser is born.
  • 1966 Receives an MBA from Harvard University.
  • 1969 Assumes control of the family business, Kaiser-Francis Oil.
  • 2003 Creates LNG import and transport company Excelerate Energy.
  • 2008 Sells half of Excelerate Energy to RWE for $500 million.
  • 2010 Foundation loses about $700 million in Solyndra bankruptcy.
  • 2010 Joins Giving Pledge, promises to donate most of wealth to charity.
  • 2013 Buys back half of Excelerate Energy from RWE for undisclosed amount.