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Fund Times

Driehaus Capital Management Weathers Founder's Death

A long-standing estate plan is in effect.

The founder of Driehaus Capital Management, Richard H. Driehaus, an influential force in the fund industry and later an active philanthropist, died on March 9 at the age of 78. His death should not have a significant impact on the operations of that firm or the funds that it advises. 

Driehaus founded Driehaus Capital Management, currently the advisor to a group of seven mutual funds as well as manager of institutional and separate accounts, in Chicago in 1982. With its growth-stock tilt, the firm benefited greatly from the long periods from the early 1990s to the present when that style of investing was in the forefront of market rallies. The firm also developed a specialty in small-cap stocks as well as emerging markets. At the end of 2020, Driehaus Capital Management had 91 employees in total--31 on the investment side--and $12.3 billion in assets under management. (It now has $13.2 billion.)

Driehaus had reduced his direct involvement with the day-to-day investment responsibilities over the years as he devoted more attention to his numerous charitable ventures, eventually becoming one of the most well-known philanthropists in the Chicago area. His efforts included the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, which supports a wide variety of projects in education, poverty prevention, and other areas, and the Richard H. Driehaus prize for classical architecture, awarded through the University of Notre Dame. He also made a series of major donations to his alma mater, De Paul University, from which he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

A long-standing estate plan has been put into effect that enables the continued operation of Driehaus Capital Management as before. The firm is employee-led and indirectly owned by trusts that were established in 2011 to manage Richard Driehaus’ estate.