Foundation Guide

A Tour of Our Global Community of Giving

Foundation Guide

A Tour of Our Global Community of Giving

 Darko Horvat

Darko Horvat

Foundation Guide - Darko Horvat

Early life and Education

Darko Horvat was born in Slovenia in 1966. He attended the University of Ljubljana where he earned a BSc in Electrical Engineering. His entrepreneurial activities started early – he established his first company in 1989 while still studying at university, and rapidly expanded beyond Slovenia through joint ventures with international corporations and financial institutions. He also continued his own professional education with an MBA from Clemson University in South Carolina.

Darko Horvat

Early Career

In 1993, Horvat founded Slovenia’s largest privatization fund management company during the country’s transition to a market economy. A year later he established the Institute for International Business Studies – a joint venture with a group of 13 American universities to provide full and part-time MBA programs, from which more than 100 young Slovenians successfully graduated.

Road to success

Horvat’s dedication to executive education and the application of innovative managerial concepts resulted in significant value creation across his investment portfolio, earning him an induction into the BSC Hall of Fame in recognition of his excellence in strategic performance management. In 1995, Horvat began applying his strategic expertise in cross-border mergers and acquisitions on a global scale, subsequently moving to London in 2002 to focus on and accelerate his global investments. Since 2006, the Horvat Family Office (THFAO) has been dedicated to building enduring partnerships, fostering innovation, and cultivating sustainable growth in transformative enterprises, with more than 100 investments and co-investments in various industry sectors.

Horvat holds an honorary doctorate in philosophy from the University of Haifa and a Young Global Leader Award from WEF Davos.

Philanthropy

In 2000, Horvat established the Petra Foundation, promoting peace between Arab and Jewish populations in Israel.

In his native Slovenia, Horvat’s sensitivity to the difficulties of the most vulnerable population groups led to the creation of the Horvat Family Foundation in 2002. His desire to shape a better world through education, solidarity and support has catalyzed significant change and improvement in the lives of thousands of the most disadvantaged members of Slovenian society.

The foundation’s first activities were focused on the northeastern area of Slovenia, but have since expanded across the whole country and beyond. Under Horvat’s guidance, the foundation implements a direct method of aid provision, with funding allocated according to the specific needs of the individual. Support is also available for schools, organizations and public projects dedicated to the assistance of young people and families in difficulty.

In 2012, Horvat donated a facsimile copy of the 17-volume Iconotheca Valvasoriana to the University of Cambridge – a priceless collection of thousands of 16th- and 17th-century prints and drawings by Johann Weichard Freiherr von Valsavor.

Projects and organizations Darko supports

Noteworthy examples of Horvat’s philanthropic activities in Slovenia include the purchase of properties for the Maribor Maternity Home and Maribor Youth Home, and the work done with Maribor Safe House and counseling center for victims of violence. Projects for vulnerable adolescents include the youth centers in Vič, Velenje and Malči Belič. Direct funding provided in response to requests for help enables schools and educational projects across Slovenia to procure books and other essential school supplies, while children from families in financial difficulty can access scholarships, transport and sports activities.

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