Robert Agostinelli

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Robert F. Agostinelli
Agostinelli in 2011
Born (1953-05-21) May 21, 1953 (age 70)
Alma materSt. John Fisher College (BA)
Columbia University (MBA)
Known for
SpouseFrancesca Lana

Robert Frank Agostinelli (born May 21, 1953) is an Italian American billionaire[1] financier who is the chairman and co-founder of private equity firm Rhône Group. Forbes estimates Agostinelli's net worth to be $1.0 billion,[2] ranking him as the 416th richest American. Agostinelli was ranked #124 amongst the richest people in the United Kingdom by the Sunday Times Rich List in 2012[3][4] through to 2018 with a net worth of £689 million.[5][6][7][8][9] In 2018 Financial News ranked Agostinelli as the 18th richest financier in the United Kingdom.[10]

Early life[edit]

Agostinelli was born to Italian immigrant parents outside of Rochester, New York, and attended the Aquinas Institute. He obtained his BA from St. John Fisher College in 1976 and then his MBA at Columbia Business School at Columbia University. Agostinelli is a certified public accountant.[11]


Agostinelli began his career in financial services at the investment bank Jacob Rothschild in Switzerland from 1981 to 1982 and subsequently joined Goldman Sachs becoming a senior partner where he worked for five years and founded the firm's international mergers and acquisitions business in London and then moved to Lazard Freres as Senior Managing Director in charge of international banking affairs where he was involved in a number of the largest transactions in European takeover history.[12]

In 1995 Agostinelli and Steven Langman started their own firm, the Rhône Group where he has been actively involved in all aspects of the group's strategy and development since its creation, while maintaining and extending the firm's broad base of relationships with private families, key corporate decision makers, institutional investors and senior sovereign government officials. He is actively engaged in the sourcing and monitoring of investments across all industries and leads the firm's investor relations activities. He sits on the supervisory board of Eurazeo.[13][14]

Politics and philanthropy[edit]

Agostinelli is a director and advisor for several European and American philanthropic and civic institutions. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a leading supporter of neoconservative causes.[15] He is a founding member of the Friends of Israel Initiative.[16] He is former vice-chairman of the Council for the United States and Italy (CONSIUSA), a member of the Investment Committee of Corporate World Opportunities of BSI Group. In 2008 Agostinelli, provided substantial funding to the presidential campaigns of John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.[17]

Agostinelli is a friend of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy[18] and former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar.

He is a senior member of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation led by the American Patriots Campaign Cabinet,[19] and a senior board director on the American Italian Cancer Foundation.[20] Agostinelli is on the board of trustees of the National Review Institute[21] and the American Veterans Center[22] Agostinelli is known for writing articles in the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times[23] on various political, economic and social issues. Agostinelli was listed in 1997 as a member of the Bilderberg Group.[24][25] He has been quoted "pursue happiness and the American dream and not “fall prey to the tyranny of false deities” such as critical race theory, the “Marxist Black Lives Matter organization,” feminism and “gender confusion.” [26]

Friends of Israel Initiative[edit]

A delegation of the Friends of Israel Initiative, which included Agostinelli, met with President Shimon Peres at Beit HaNassi in Jerusalem in July 2011. The delegation included former Spanish Prime Minister José Aznar, former US Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lord David Trimble. The president held a working meeting with the group[27] and presented an overview of the situation in Israel and the region at large.[28] Agostinelli stated: "Israel is a fundamentally important part of the Western world. It is a democracy under fire, and we must be resolute in defence of its legitimacy."[29]

Personal life[edit]

Agostinelli is based between New York City and Palm Beach, and he maintains additional homes in London and Paris, all of which have interiors designed by Jacques Grange.[30] In 2014 Agostinelli reportedly purchased the first landmarked estate in Palm Beach known as "La Loma" built by Gustav Maass and John Volk, which was on the market for $14.5 million through Sotheby's International Realty and sold for $12 million. According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2015, Agostinelli is 'building a home in Henley-on-Thames.[31][32][33] In 2017 The Sunday Times reported that Agostinelli spent £25 million on a home in South Kensington, London. He counts Nicolas Sarkozy, George W. Bush,[34][35] Jeb Bush and José María Aznar[36] as close friends.[5] He is the father of the Swiss-based artist Massimo Agostinelli.[37] He is married to Francesca Lana.[38][39]

Associated publications[edit]


  1. ^ "Gallery : #1153 Billionaires Robert Agostinelli". 2015. Archived from the original on November 28, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "Robert Agostinelli". Forbes. 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "Rich List : Agostinelli". The Sunday Times. 2012. Archived from the original on August 2, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  4. ^ "Sunday Times Rich List 2011: The financiers". May 9, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Article title
  6. ^ "View image: Robert F Agostinelli's networth 2013 & 2014". Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  7. ^ "View image: Robert F Agostinelli £670 million". Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  8. ^ "Robert Agostinelli, the US billionaire behind the latest Treasury tilt". Australian Financial Review. August 5, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  9. ^[bare URL PDF]
  10. ^ "The UK's richest financiers".
  11. ^ "Magnesita". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  12. ^ "Robert F. Agostinelli CPA: Executive Profile & Biography". Businessweek. April 27, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2015.[dead link]
  13. ^ "Eurazeo".
  14. ^ "Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade".
  15. ^ "Membership Roster". Council on Foreign Relations. December 5, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  16. ^ "Friends of Israel Initiative: The neoconservatives' eastern front « P U L S E". July 20, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  17. ^ "Robert Agostinelli Campaign Contributions and Donations". Huffington Post. September 22, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  18. ^ Mirkinson, Jack (May 25, 2012). "Murdoch Private Eye Targeted US Hedge Fund Boss". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  19. ^ "Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation". Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  20. ^ "Boards and Staff". American Italian Cancer Foundation. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  21. ^ "Board of Trustees". National Review Institute. Archived from the original on August 12, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  22. ^ "Pre-Parade Dinner". American Veterans Center. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  23. ^ Agostinelli, Robert F. (August 4, 2011). "Agostinelli: Astounding debt nightmare". Washington Times. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  24. ^ "1997 CFR Membership Roster". Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  25. ^ "Le Couronnement!". Société Générale de Spéculation. August 20, 2008. Archived from the original on April 18, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  26. ^ "Aquinas trustees respond to dissident parents, alumni". February 2, 2022.
  27. ^ Piper, Michael Collins (August 2, 2010). "Powerful New Lobby Group Set In Motion". American Free Press. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  28. ^ "President Peres hosts delegation from 'Friends of Israel Initiative'". June 14, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  29. ^ "Working Papers". Friends of Israel Initiative. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  30. ^ "Pink in Paris". Habitually Chic. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  31. ^ Davis, Christine (May 22, 2014). "'Magical' estate: Merrilyn Bardes' Jungle Road house is on the market". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  32. ^ Hofheinz, Darrell (December 18, 2014). "Landmarked Bardes home fetches $12 million". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  33. ^ Bandell, Brian (December 11, 2014). "Billionaire buys historic Palm Beach mansion for $12M". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  34. ^ "Postimg". Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2023.
  35. ^ Hobson, Rebecca (March 23, 2012). "London's top ten richest newcomers". London Loves Business. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  36. ^ Hernanz, Carlos (March 14, 2014). "Agostinelli, el tapado para comprar Deoleo: millonario, italoamericano y amigo de Aznar" (in Spanish). Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  37. ^ "How a Roguish Artist Set Out to Prank the Art World With an Art Basel Trash Can—and a Little Help From the Nahmads". Artnet News. September 5, 2017.
  39. ^ "Agostinelli, l'amico americano di Unieuro e IllyCaffè".
  40. ^ Decker, Brett; William c. Triplett, II (November 14, 2011). Bowing to Beijing: How Barack Obama is Hastening America's Decline and Ushering A Century of Chinese Domination: Brett M. Decker, William C. Triplett II: 9781596982895. ISBN 978-1596982895.
  41. ^ Decker, Brett M. (October 26, 2011). "Three cheers for colonialism". Washington Times. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  42. ^ Cohan, William D. (2008). "It's a White Man's World" (PDF). The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. Anchor. ISBN 978-0767919791.