There were and are still many Christian Capitalists out there who believe in doing the right thing and taking care of those who took care of you.
My only concern in the following story is that Albert Gubay chose to dedicate one half to the Catholic Church, to be used for “projects” related to….
I only hope that the administrator of the estate watches carefully where and how that money is spent. There ARE many good Catholic Charities,
but they also need to be “audited” on those finances – and verified…. I would hate to see any of this money used to pay out settlements
to those that have been wronged by the Church. I don’t think (hope) that Mr. Gubay had in mind.
Billionaire giving away his fortune
The 82-year-old founder of a U.K. supermarket chain and other businesses honors a vow he made to God back when he was a struggling young entrepreneur.
Albert Gubay has put his business empire, worth about $1.1 billion, into a charitable trust, fulfilling a divine pact he made at the start of his entrepreneurial career.
The 82-year-old British retail entrepreneur made a "deal" with God several decades ago — when he barely had enough capital to get his business ideas off the ground — to share half his fortune with the Almighty in return for some divine help with his finances.
Five decades later, nearly all of his fortune is going into a trust, from which half of all the funds will be spent on projects connected to the Roman Catholic Church. The other half will be given to whomever the trustees deem appropriate. Gubay, a lifelong Catholic, will reportedly keep $15 million to tide him over during his old age.
Gubay ranked No. 880 in the Forbes 2010 list of the world’s billionaires. He lives on the quiet British tax haven of the Isle of Man and has two children with his first wife.
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Gubay started building his fortune in the 1960s when he established the Kwik Save discount supermarket chain in the United Kingdom. He sold the business in 1973 for $28 million.
He then replicated the Kwik Save business model in New Zealand, Ireland and the United States, investing profits from those businesses in real estate in the United Kingdom. The move proved savvy: U.K property prices had been on a steep upward trajectory until about two years ago.
Gubay then moved into leisure. In 1995, while recovering from a bad back, he established the Total Fitness gym chain. Less than 10 years later, Gubay sold the chain to the British venture capital firm L&G for $154 million.
"I’m not one of these people that takes everything out and puts nothing in," the frugal and media-shy Gubay said in a television interview with the BBC in 1988. At that time he had put money toward building a new church for the Isle of Man’s Catholic community.
John Nugent, the chairman of the new Albert Gubay Foundation, said that Gubay was trying to maximize his company’s asset base. "He is confident he can push the worth to $1.5 billion before he dies," Nugent told The Sunday Times.
Buffett, the world’s third-richest man, pledged in 2006 to give away 85% of his money, mostly to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates himself has given about $28 billion of his wealth to charity. Scottish entrepreneur Thomas Hunter, who was featured on the Forbes billionaire list in 2008 but has since dropped off, pledged in 2007 to give $1.5 billion to charity.
This article was reported by Parmy Olson for Forbes.com.