Richard H. Driehaus, founder and chairman of money manager Driehaus Capital Management and longtime philanthropist, died Tuesday at age 78.
He died of natural causes, a news release from his firm said Wednesday. Mr. Driehaus began his career in the institutional trading department at A.G. Becker and became its youngest portfolio manager in 1970, the same year he received his MBA from DePaul University.
Later, he worked at a number of brokerage firms from 1973 to 1979 including Jesup & Lamont, where he was a money manager and director of research, and Mullaney, Wells & Co., where he was also director of research.
Mr. Driehaus founded his namesake money management firm in 1982, and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation in 1983. Both are based in Chicago where Mr. Driehaus was born and raised.
"Richard led a life of zest and intellectual curiosity. His path and personal story were larger than life, and the impact he made as an investor is perhaps only rivaled by the extensive legacy he left as a philanthropist," said Steve Weber, president and CEO of Driehaus Capital Management, in the news release. "Our thoughts are with his daughters Tereza, Caroline and Kate, his sisters Dorothy and Elizabeth, and his extended family. Richard will be dearly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him."
In 2011, trusts were established to manage Mr. Driehaus' estate, which remain the indirect owners of employee-led Driehaus Capital Management.
As a philanthropist, Mr. Driehaus focused on gifts to his alma mater DePaul University, historic architectural preservation, investigative journalism organizations and arts organizations.
"Richard was a dear friend, my professional mentor, and a lifelong philanthropist," said Anne Lazar, executive director of the Driehaus Foundation, in that organization's news release. "He spent decades making an impact in Chicago and his legacy will live on through his foundation. He was a true gentleman of grace and humility, and it is the foundation's honor and privilege to continue Richard's legacy of support.
Driehaus Capital Management had $13.2 billion in assets under management as of Feb. 28. The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation had $62 million in assets in 2018, the most recent data available.
Carrie O'Donnell, Driehaus Capital spokeswoman, could not be immediately reached for further information.