Gates divorce casts harsh glare on trusted $170 billion money manager

Michael Larson won the Microsoft founder's loyalty by delivering consistent returns, often making investments that didn't gel with his charitable endeavours.

Sophie Alexander, Anders Melin and Tom Maloney | Bloomberg
Bill Gates, Melinda Gates

Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates announced in May they were splitting. (Photo: Bloomberg)

For almost three decades, Michael Larson has quietly shuffled around one of the world’s biggest fortunes with a chief priority: Keep his fabulously wealthy bosses out of the headlines.
The conservative bets, the nondescript office, the investment firm’s generic-sounding name; they were all carefully designed to shield Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates from criticism and produce steady, if seemingly unimpressive, returns.
The couple’s divorce announcement last month cracked the curated image. Unflattering details spilled out, including a report that Larson had allegedly harassed and bullied some employees.

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First Published: Jun 22 2021 | 6:54 AM IST

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