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Lionel I. Pincus Edit Profile

Businessman , founder , philanthropist

Lionel I. Pincus was an American businessman and philanthropist.


Pincus, Lionel I. was born on March 2, 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of Henry and Theresa Celia (Levit) Pincus.


He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1953. His family had apparel retailing and real estate businesses. Rather than join those businesses, he pursued an MBA at Columbia Business School, graduating in 1956.


He formed Pincus & Co., Inc., a financial consultancy, in 1964. The following year, he joined the board of directors of E.M. Warburg & Co., founded in 1939 by Eric Warburg, and in 1966, the two firms merged. The company was renamed to E.M. Warburg Pincus in 1970, and to Warburg Pincus LLC in 2001.

Pincus is a "pioneer of the venture capital megafund", raising billions of dollars to invest in companies across industries. The money he raised came from, among other sources, blue chip pension funds, such as AT&T, IBM, GE, Pacific Telesis, and GM, state pension funds, and college endowments. An early venture capital fund, EMW Associates, was organized by Pincus in 1970, with $20 million in capital, about half of which came from officers of the company.

A later fund, closed in 2000, raised $2.5 billion, and was then described as the "biggest so far in the private-equity industry". The tenth and final fund raised while Pincus headed the company raised over $5.3 billion, closing in 2002. Early investments included 20th Century Fox, Humana, and Warner, a company later acquired by Waste Management, Inc.

In 1984, Warburg Pincus invested in Mattel, and Pincus joined its board of directors. By 2002, when Pincus ended his tenure as the hands-on leader of the company, it had overseen investments of more than $13 billion in over 450 companies in 29 countries. In 1999, Warburg Pincus sold its asset management division to Cr Suisse for $650 million, which also acquired an interest in the private equity division of Warburg Pincus.

Pincus supported several philanthropic activities, including a $10 million donation to Columbia University, New York in 1995. He was a trustee of the university at the time. In 2005, the New York Public Library renovated its main map room, principally financed and endowed by Pincus and Princess Firyal of Jordan.

The renovation cost $5 million and was also financially supported by the City of New York and the U.S. Government. The division was renamed The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division. He was recognized in 2002 for having donated more than $5 million to the Library.

They had two sons, Henry and Matthew. She died in 1995 at the age of 60, after a long illness. The asking price at the time was $50 million.


  • He was the founder of the private equity firm Warburg Pincus, running it from 1966 to 2002, and later became the chairman emeritus of the company. Pincus married the former Suzanne Storrs, a former Miss Utah winner and actress, in 1967.


Trustee New York Presbyterian Hospital. Trustee, chairman emeritus Columbia University. Trustee German Marshall Fund United States of America, 1982-1988.

Member board overseers Columbia Graduate School Business. Board directors American Museum Natural History, National Park Foundation, 1995-1901. Member Partnership for New York City.

Emeritus director School American Ballet. Member Council Foreign Relations, National Venture Capital Association (Lifetime award), World Wildlife Fund (national council), National Golf Links American Club, Meadow Club.


Married Suzanne Storrs Poulton, 1967 (deceased 1995). Children: Henry, Matthew.

Princess Firyal

Warburg Pincus

Ladenburg Thalmann