The Henry Grunfeld Foundation
Henry Grunfeld was born in Breslau, Germany in 1904 to a family of wealthy Jewish industrialists. Following a brief imprisonment due to Nazi persecution in Hitler's Germany, Gruneld fled to London as a refugee in the 1930s.
A meeting in 1935 with Siegmund Warburg, a fellow German refugee, led to a long friendship and successful business partnership. Warburg himself was from Germany's most prominent banking and cultural family. Together the two men established the New Trading Company to help refugees from Europe extract their money from their native country and invest it safely. In 1946, the New Trading Company became the London investment bank, SG Warburg.
S.G Warburg became known for its pioneering work in mergers and takeovers, and for the first ever Eurobond issue. Henry Grunfeld took over the chairmanship of the firm in 1964, and although he formally retired at the age of 70, his strong work ethic persisted and he maintained regular attendance at his office until his death at the age of 95.
Whilst Warburg was known for his outgoing nature and charm, Grunfeld preferred to maintain a low-profile throughout his life. He detested publicity, therefore on the occasion of his 90th birthday, when he announced the establishment of the foundation, he was originally unwilling to allow it to bear his name, but eventually with some reluctance and pride, the Henry Grunfeld Foundation was established.
He hoped that the foundation would be a tangible expression of his “appreciation and gratitude to all who have helped Siegmund Warburg and me to be as successful as we were.”
Warburg stated that the main purpose of the foundation would be to promote greater intercultural understanding both in business and a wider social context.
The London Institute of Banking & Finance was invited to assume control of the Grunfeld Foundation in the mid-1990s with the Board of Governors acting as trustees. The fund was established to further the careers of those working in the City of London, and particularly those interested in an investment banking career. True to the principles of Grunfeld, it has also retained a bias towards enhancing cultural understanding.
As well as the scholarships (for the full-time undergraduate programme), the fund has been used to develop learning resource provision (by extending our e-library provision, and providing hardware for full-time students), funds research fellowships and supports a long-standing commitment to INSEAD, the leading European business school.
Find out how to contribute to the Alumni Fund