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Zdenek Bakala is a renowned Czech businessman and investor. He is known globally for his commercial activities, which includes mining industry.
From fleeing the then-Communist country Czechoslovakia for the US, with a $50 hidden inside a sandwich to founding Patria Finance, the Czech Republic’s first independent full-service investment bank, Zdenek Bakala has come a long way to be a few of the Czech-Billionaires.
Zdenek Bakala started earning money by laying bricks and slipped through the borders of his country to achieve his dreams.
From a young age, Zdenek Bakala was determined to acquire higher education, which was impossible in the communist country of his birth.
He moved to US after finishing his studies at a textile technical high school, where he earned money by working in restaurants.
He worked hard to finish an economics degree from the University of California and an MBA from Tuck Business School.
He landed a job in investment banking at Drexel Burnham Lambert and was later recruited by the Credit Suisse First Boston in New York, subsequently transferred to London and finally he ended up back in the Czech Republic as a leader of the Czech office in Prague. This was also the time when the former Soviet bloc countries were undergoing a transition phase to a market-led economy.
Zdenek Bakala advised the then government of the Czech Republic on many transactions such as the sale of national automobile company Skoda to Volkswagen.
Zdenek Bakala raised start-up capital from former colleagues and other investors to establish his first entrepreneurial venture, Patria Finance, which he later sold to Belgian banking group KBC in 2001.
Zdenek Bakala convinced the promoters of the Karbon Invest Group, which had owned OKD, the then leading Czech coal mining group among other businesses, to sell off their stake to a group of investors led by him.
He next set up a private equity fund, RPG Industries and then invested his money in the Czech energy sector and became the owner of several coal mines.