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Bill & Melinda Gates divorce: What’s next for the iconic BMG foundation?

The Bill and Melinda Gates divorce has been likened to the Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Scott divorce due to the enormous amount of wealth and assets involved.



The Financial Details Of The Bill And Melinda Gates Divorce

In a joint statement released on Bills Gates’ Twitter handle, the couple announced to the world, their plans to get a divorce after 27 years of marriage. Bill Gates, the Microsoft Co-Founder is the fourth richest man in the world with a net worth of $146bn.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also the largest and the most influential philanthropic entity in the world today. The announcement has shaken up the world of finance and humanitarian aid raising questions on the uncertainty that lies ahead.

Financially, the divorce will affect two major areas:

1. The Bill and Melinda Gates (BMG) Foundation

2. The personal wealth of Bill Gates

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest philanthropic effort in the world according to Rob Reich, a professor of political science at Stanford University. The Foundation has given out close to $50bn in Humanitarian aid according to Bloomberg.

An expert speaking to Bloomberg news pointed out that the divorce announcement stated clearly that both Bill and Melinda will remain as Co-Chairs at the Foundation, so technically, the divorce will have no effect on the Foundation.

The only area of concern here is how long this could last given the strained relationship between the two.


Bill Gates’ wealth

Bill Gates, at the time of writing this article, is worth $146bn according to Bloomberg and the divorce news has raised questions on how his fortune would be split.

The couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement and over the years, a huge percentage of Bill’s wealth has gone into the BMG Foundation. According to Bloomberg, Bill’s Microsoft fortune now makes up a paltry 20% of his net worth.

About the division of assets, an expert Janet George who is a family lawyer in Washington with the firm McKinley Irvin explained that the popular 50 -50 split is not mandatory according to Washington laws. The courts can award more or less depending on what is just and equitable.

Secondly, she pointed out that even when the split occurs the public will likely not be aware of the details involved as such high profile divorce cases are often shrouded in private contracts.

What you should know

The Bill and Melinda Gates divorce has been likened to the Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Scott divorce due to the enormous amount of wealth and assets involved. Experts have stated that the Bezos divorce split was a lot easier because Jeff’s wealth is largely concentrated in his Amazon stock unlike Bill’s.

Mackenzie Scott got a whooping $36bn worth of Amazon shares from the divorce and she immediately became one of the richest women in the world.

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The official divorce letter filed by the couple and obtained by the daily mail described the marriage as irretrievably broken.

I Am A Business Analyst And Digital Media Enthusiast Covering Wealth And Business Leaders. Follow Me On Twitter

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Billionaire Watch

Top 5 women who became billionaires after divorcing their husbands

The divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates is set to mint another woman billionaire.



Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates is set to mint another woman billionaire. Yesterday, Nairametrics reported on the first set of transactions made by Bill Gates to his ex-wife, Melinda.

She was transferred securities worth over $1 billion, already making her a billionaire. With more transfers set to come, we want to look at 5 other women who became billionaires after divorcing their husbands.

5 .  Sue Ann Arnall ($1 billion  

Sue Ann Arnall was the wife of oil baron and CEO of Continental Resources, Mr Harold Hamm. The 26-year-old marriage ended in 2015 with a handwritten check of a whopping $974 million to Sue Ann, which she initially rejected on the basis that it was too small. After a series of back and forth in court, however, she finally accepted the cheque.

Before the cheque, Harold Hamm had initially paid her over $20 million, driving the total settlement figure over a billion dollars.

Harold Hamm is currently the 247th richest man in the world with a net worth of $8.6 billion.

READ: There are only 15 black billionaires in the world, here are the top 10

4.  Sue Gross ( $1.3 billion )

The ex-wife of Bill Gross, the billionaire founder of the investment management firm, PIMCO, walked away from her 32-year-old marriage to the business mogul with a handsome $1.3 billion dollars. She started her own charity afterwards.

Bill Gross is currently worth $1.5 billion according to Forbes. He founded PIMCO in 1971 and it became one of the most successful investment management firms in America.


READ: Squarespace founder is the latest billionaire, set to make $3bn from listing his company

3.  Elaine Wynn ( $2 billion ) 

Elaine Wynn is the ex-wife of Steve Wynn and she is a Co-Founder of the successful casino company, Wynn Resorts. After the couple divorced in 2012, she was transferred 11 million shares from the company which was valued at $795 million at the time.

Her ex-husband sold a substantial amount of shares later that year, which she also got a stake in. Today, her total shares from the Wyatt Resorts are worth over $2.3 billion according to Forbes.

READ: Is Donald Trump still a billionaire?

2.  Melinda Gates ($1.8 billion and counting) 

Melinda Gates is the latest billionaire divorcee on the block and she is already worth $1.8 billion after the first transfer of wealth. Her ex-husband, Bill Gates is the 4th richest man in the world. She will be worth over $60 billion if Bill Gates’ fortune is split evenly with her, although that is very unlikely.

1.  Mackenzie Scott ($57.7 billion) 

The ex-wife of the richest man in the world tops the list with a staggering $57.7 billion net worth. She met her ex-husband, Jeff Bezos when they both worked at a hedge fund in New York and she helped set up Amazon.

After her divorce from Bezos in 2019, she received 4% of Amazon shares which was valued at $35 billion then. Amazon stocks have witnessed a near 75% increase since then. She is currently worth $57.7 billion according to Forbes.

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What you should know 

Melinda Gates may top the list after the complete transfer of wealth by her ex-husband, Bill Gates.

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Billionaire Watch

The Gates Divorce: Bill Gates’ Holding Company transfers $1.8bn of equities to Melinda Gates

More details have now emerged on the Gates asset split following the divorce.



Details of how Bill and Melinda Gates will share the Gates’ fortune are beginning to emerge. The multi-billionaire couple announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage on Monday via a joint statement.

Since the divorce announcements, questions on how Bill’s $146bn fortune would be split, have arisen in the media. Nairametrics also did an earlier article on a few possible financial outcomes, particularly regarding the BMG Foundation that the couple jointly Chair.

More details have now emerged on the Gates asset split following the divorce.

READ: Bill Gates holds far more cash than Nigeria’s foreign reserve

Cascade transfers $1.8bn equities to Melinda Gates

Cascade Investment, a holding company Bill Gates founded with proceeds from his Microsoft Corporation yesterday transferred securities worth more than $1.8 billion to Melinda Gates following their divorce.

The securities involved include:

14.1 million shares of Canadian National Railway Co. worth about $1.5 billion

2.94 million shares in AutoNation Inc., worth $309 million.


What you should know

Melinda Gates is on her way to join the league of women who became sudden billionaires after divorcing their husbands.

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