Nicolas Berggruen's net worth is estimated at more than $3 billion. He made most of his fortune through his involvement in private equity and hedge fund businesses. For private equity, he founded the Berggruen Holdings, Inc. in 1984 to act as investment adviser to a Berggruen family trust that has made over 50 control and non-control direct investments in businesses since inception. Also in 1984, he co-founded Alpha Investment Management, a hedge fund management company that was sold to Safra Bank in 2004.
Prior to co-founding Alpha Investment Management and Berggruen Holdings, Inc., he served as an analyst on the real estate side of the family-held investment firm Bass Brothers Enterprises, and an associate of Jacobson and Co., Inc., a leveraged buyout company.
Berggruen is currently "homeless" and does not own a car, preferring to live out of hotels and restaurants. He has given up most of his material possessions (other than an art collection and personal jet), saying "..for me, possessing things is not that interesting. Living in a grand environment to show myself and others that I have wealth has zero appeal. Whatever I own is temporary, since we’re only here for a short period of time. It’s what we do and produce, it’s our actions, that will last forever. That’s real value.
His current investment strategy is something he calls 'values investing' instead of 'value investing'. These values investments include rice farms in Cambodia, windmill farms in Turkey, an ethanol plant in Oregon and redevelopment of poor inner cities including building new skyscrapers around the world.
Nicolas Berggruen hosts an annual exclusive party at Chateau Marmont which draws the wealthy and the famous.