Dan Gertler - Founder and PresidentFounder of the DGI Group of Companies, Dan Gertler is a leader in the development of natural resources.His
career began with investments in the diamond trade in Africa, and his
interests have since grown to include mining, logistics, real estate, agriculture and finance in Africa and other emerging markets. Born in December 1973, Dan Gertler is the grandson of Moshe Schnitzer, who was the founder and first President of the Israeli Diamond Exchange and 2004 winner of the Israel Prize (the most prestigious award issued by the State of Israel) for lifetime achievement in recognition of his contribution to Israeli society and the State.
It was within this family tradition of free and independent initiatives based on strong family backing and influence that Mr. Gertler
was raised.Not only did he
gain the courage and vision for his
own ventures, but also the seed resources required to achieve that vision.
An enthusiastic diamond-dealer from youth, Mr. Gertler
learned the secrets of the trade not only from his
father but also from his
grandfather's life-long experience.He
spent time with both of them during school holidays and whenever else he
was able.Even while carrying out his
three-year mandatory service in a rearguard base of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) near Tel Aviv, all of his
free time was spent either at the offices of his
father or grandfather, learning and practicing the essentials of the diamond business.
Immediately following his
mandatory service in the IDF, Mr. Gertler
, then aged 21, went about opening his
own diamond business.Naturally, his
family provided him with an extensive infrastructure of contacts, goodwill and finance.
financial backing provided him with the ability to purchase substantial amounts of stocks up-front, he
soon made a name for himself as a reliable source of various types, sizes and qualities of diamonds.In turn, this key quality of â€˜reliability' enabled him to develop a large downstream clientele.Mr. Gertler's
deep knowledge of the industry gave him strength in finding the appropriate type of diamonds for clients, and together with the other factors mentioned, Mr. Gertler
became able to sustain a long-term diamond dealership. Mr. Gertler
recognized, however, that no matter how good a dealership is, due to its dependence on various sources, it would always be exposed to risks of unsteady supply and it, therefore, carried an uncertain future.He
believed that the closer one was able to get to the source - to the mine itself or at least to the miners - the better one's chances of success in this ever-fluctuating and capital-intense market.This, therefore, became his
renewed focus.Following experiments with the purchase and marketing of artisinally mined diamonds in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DGI
established a partnership with the majority state-owned diamond mine MIBA. The DRC
was deemed to be an extremely high risk and volatile country, torn by civil war and absent of large international investments.Following political changes in the summer of 2001, the already volatile situation became even more unsteady.Shortly after the appointment by the state council of the late president's son, Mr. Joseph Kabila, as the new president of DRC
, Mr. Gertler
pledged his commitment to assist the DRC
through its most difficult period.
record in the DRC
not only gives him a unique view and understanding of its authorities and infrastructure, but also earned him the trust and goodwill required to build business interests of the magnitude that he
has.Mr. Gertler was named honorary consul of the DRC in Israel in April 2003.
Today, Mr. Gertler
diamond activities - located in and managed from his
offices in Tel Aviv - and is involved in a number of other projects in Africa and other locations around the world.As he
has great faith in the potential of emerging markets, he
is also pursuing investments in Angola, East Europe, Brazil, and elsewhere.Mr. Gertler studied business at the University of Derby and financial markets and gemology in Israel.Mr. Gertler
strictly observes the Jewish religion.He
supports many and various educational and charitable institutions, most of them anonymously.