Gates Foundation Purchases 500,000 Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) Shares


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation purchased 500,000 shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) to its portfolio during the second quarter, according to a 13F regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

The endowment fund setup by Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT) founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates purchased half a million shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) during the quarter which ended on June 30th, taking advantage of depressed prices on financial stocks during the quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) was particularly hammered during the second quarter after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil fraud charges against the company on April 16th.

The data was revealed in a Form 13F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is required by money managers that oversee more than $100 million in equities. Firms are required to list their U.S. traded stocks, options and convertible bonds, however, the filings do not show foreign securities or the fund’s cash on hand.

The value of the Gates Foundation’s holdings fell by 6% to $11.9 billion at the end of the quarter, down from $12.7 billion at the end of the first quarter. The endowment also added Ecolab Inc. (ECL) and Monsanto Co. (MON) to its portfolio during the second quarter.

According to Wikipedia, “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF or the Gates Foundation) is the largest transparently operated[4] private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. The foundation is “driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family”.[5]  The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, is controlled by its three trustees: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Other principal officers include Co-Chair William H. Gates, Sr. and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Raikes. It has an endowment of US$33.5 billion as of December 31, 2009.[3] The scale of the foundation and the way it seeks to apply business techniques to giving makes it one of the leaders in the philanthrocapitalism revolution in global philanthropy,[6] though the foundation itself notes that the philanthropic role has limitations.[5] In 2007 its founders were ranked as the second most generous philanthropists in America.[7]”