Dec 1, 2016

The founding principle of all the activities of Zdenek and Michaela Bakala is, truly, the courage, which must, according to their belief, always go hand in hand with responsibility.
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Our Founders

Zdenek Bakala | Founder

Zdenek Bakala


Zdenĕk Bakala is a Czech-born businessman, investor and philanthropist. He started his business career in 1989 at Drexel Burnham Lambert investment bank in New York, and then moved to Bank of America. In 1994, Bakala founded Patria Finance, the Czech Republic’s very first private investment banking group. In 2004, he was one of the founders of the group Bakala Crossroads – BXR, a diversified investment group with a global portfolio of assets.  In the same year, this group acquired OKD – a major Czech hard coal mining company, now part of New World Resources. In 2013, Zdeněk Bakala and his wife Michaela founded BM Management, a Prague based company to  manage their family’s assets in the Czech Republic.

He is also very active in philanthropy. Zdeněk Bakala’s contributions have always gravitated towards cultural or intellectual development and human rights. In 2007, he founded the Zdeněk Bakala Foundation, which provides scholarships at prestigious universities abroad to talented Czech students. He also supports the Václav Havel Library as a centre for the documentation and research of modern Czech history, with an emphasis on promoting the ideas and works of former Czech president Václav Havel. He initiated the opening of the CEE affiliate of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies nonprofit organisation. Zdeněk Bakala is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Desing Museum in London and also a partner of DOX –  the Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague. He is also a member of the Board of Overseers and a member of the European Advisory Board at the Tuck School of Business.     Zdeněk Bakala is also active in the field of media – he owns Czech publishing house Economia. He earned his MBA degree at the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. 

Zdeněk Bakala is married to Michaela Bakala, with whom he has four children.


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Michaela Bakala | Chair of the board

Michaela Bakala

Chair of the board

My husband and I share the same values, such as freedom and responsibility, which are reflected in our SCHOLARSHIP program. Freedom in the sense of deciding where I want to have a quality education; and responsibility in the sense of knowing that, in order to get this quality education, I will need to work hard.

Michaela Bakala is a Czech manager and entrepreneur. Since 2009, she has been involved in the Zdeněk  Bakala Foundation as Chair of the Board, which provides scholarships to talented Czech students so that they can attend prestigious universities abroad. In 2012, she became a member of the Board of Trustees of Václav Havel Library. She also participated in the founding of Aspen Institute Prague, a Czech branch of the prestigious politically and socially oriented Washington D.C.-headquartered Aspen Institute, which forms a Central European platform for wide-ranging discussions and identifying solutions across the political spectrum, with an emphasis on education and promoting new decision-makers. In the business area, she has focused on building Luxury Brand Management, a lifestyle business group that aims to become the leader in its field in the retail luxury goods market in central Europe.  She is also a board member at Economia, a leading business and economics-focused publishing house based in the Czech Republic, with its headquarters located in a building that includes a state-of-the-art newsroom in the Karlín quarter of Prague. Since 2013, she has owned one-half of BM Management, a company that manages her family’s investments in the Czech Republic. She also utilised her experience from modeling, production and communications in 2004, when she established the Czech Miss competition, of which she is still the Director General. She also devoted eight years of her professional career to the public relations area. She worked as head of communication at an international business company and for one of the most important Czech political parties, and she founded her own PR agency. During her studies at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, she participated in the production of the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary.

She is married to Zdeněk Bakala, and they have four children. They’ve been living in Switzerland since 2009.


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© Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala