Richard Driehaus was an American investor, fund manager, and philanthropist. He was the founder and chairman of Driehaus Capital Management, LLC, based in Chicago.
Richard Driehaus early life and trading career
He was born in Chicago and attended high school at St. Ignatius College Prep. He earned his bachelor’s degree, and master’s in business from DePaul University in 1965 and 1970. He received an honorary doctorate from DePaul University in 2002.
From 1968 through 1973, he developed research ideas for the institutional trading department at A.G. Becker & Co. He became the director of research at Mullaney, Wells & Co. In 1973. And in 1976, he was the director of research and money manager at Jesup & Lamont. In 1979, he set up Driehaus Securities — a research broker that provided ideas to a selected group of accounts.
Richard set up Driehaus Securities LLC in 1980, and in 1982, he founded Driehaus Capital Management LLC, and till his death was the chief investment officer and chairman. He founded Driehaus Mutual Funds in 1996 and Driehaus Capital Management (USVI) LLC in 1997.
He was named in Barron’s “All-Century” team of the top 35 individuals who have been the most influential within the mutual fund industry for over a century.
His firm had $13.2 billion in assets under management as of March 2021 when he died.
He was often credited as the father of momentum investing because he popularized the strategy. This strategy made an annual 30% compounded return for Driehaus Capital Management within the twelve years the firm was established.
In discussing the momentum investing strategy, he explained: “The momentum investor has confidence that a stock that is high can head even higher. We rarely invest in stock because it’s cheap and we hope for a turnaround.” To them, investing in cheap stocks, which is what value investors do, can be dangerous.
Richard’s philanthropic activities are widely acknowledged in arts, culture, heritage protection, architecture, and journalism, including the renowned global Driehaus Architecture Price for new classical architecture.
He has made donations individually and through the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the Richard H. Charitable Trust. Also, Richard contributed about $92 million in 2000, and his foundation has still been donating ever since.
Richard was inducted as a Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He was awarded the Order of Lincoln, the state’s highest honor, by the Governor of Illinois in 2017.
He received the American Institute of Architects Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 for his contributions to architecture in Chicago and worldwide. The AIA noticed his support of several design competitions which produced the Daniel Burnham Memorial, IIT Campus Centre, as well as the Richard H. Driehaus Piece for Classical Architecture.
He donated $3.45 million to endow a chair and established a center in behavioral in 2002. He donated $30 million to Depaul University in 2012; this was the largest donation Depaul University has ever received.
Sadly, Richard Driehaus died at the age of 78 on March 9, 2021, at the North-western Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage the night before at his house.
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