Renowned investor holds event resulting in $80 million in investment in Israel. 'I have nothing but good feelings about what I am doing.'
Calling Israel"s independence "a good day for the world," Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, President & CEO Warren Buffett demonstrated his support for Development Corporation for Israel, commonly known as Israel Bonds, by welcoming the organization back to Omaha for a second event in the global magnate"s hometown and his third with the Israel Bonds enterprise in 18 months. The June 7 event with the internationally-renowned investor and philanthropist helped raise $80 million in Israel bonds investments and intentions to invest at a gathering at which he met with investors who each made a new minimum $1 million Israel bond investment to attend.
The exclusive evening with the famed "Oracle of Omaha," which took place at the University of Nebraska Medical Center"s Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, included a dinner reception attended by over 70 investors from the U.S. and Canada, in addition to Israeli dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps, including Shai Babad, Director General, Israel"s Finance Ministry Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel"s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York.
Buffett, who made Israeli tool company ISCAR Metalworks his first major overseas acquisition in 2006, spoke warmly of the Jewish state noting, "I"ve lived through Israel"s entire 70-year history and I believe it is one of the most remarkable countries in the world." He emphasized, "I"m delighted to own Israel bonds."
When asked why he remains committed to Israel and the Bonds institution, Buffett stated, "I have nothing but good feelings about what I am doing. The United States and Israel will always be linked. It is a good thing for Israel that there is an America, and it is a good thing for America that there is an Israel."
Israel Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon observed, "The Israel Bonds organization has played a significant role in the realization of one of Israel"s most remarkable accomplishments - the building of a robust, resilient economy. Investors the world over, including Warren Buffett, have taken notice."
Bonds Vice President of Sales Stuart Garawitz announced sales for all three events – two in Omaha and one in New York – totaled $290 million, declaring, "This could not have happened without the full support of Warren Buffett."
Finance Ministry Director General Shai Babad, in citing positive economic markers for Israel including record foreign investment, low unemployment and consistent GDP growth, said, "We just don"t see you as investors, we see you as great friends of Israel.
In addition to Buffett"s own Israel bond holdings, Berkshire Hathaway"s portfolio has included Israel bonds since the company"s acquisition of GUARD Insurance in 2012, now known as Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies. GUARD is a holder of Israel bonds in its portfolio.
Since its founding in 1951, Israel Bonds has secured more than $41 billion in global sales. In 2017, worldwide Israel bond sales exceeded $1.3 billion.
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