William Malcolm

Kellner Foundation Will Carry On After Petr Kellner’s Death

The Kellner family foundation will continue to operate after this year’s death of the majority owner of the PPF investment group, Petr Kellner. This was stated in the annual report published today by the founder and chairwoman of the board of the Renáta Kellnerová foundation.

Last year, the foundation distributed 91 million crowns to support the education of children and young people in private and public education. It was 1.5 million crowns more than in 2019 and at the same time the most since 2014, when it distributed 97.4 million. Since 2002, when the Kellners founded the first family foundation, they have provided CZK 1.6 billion to support education in the Czech Republic.

In the introduction to the annual report, Kellner reminded that education was strongly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic this school year as well. “In addition, our country is among the sad premieres in the number of days when children and students were not allowed to go to school at all. Therefore, I am particularly pleased that even in these turbulent times, our foundation has succeeded in fulfilling its mission – And to support Czech education on the way to changing the lives of all young people for the better,” she said.

She also recalled the tragic death of her husband, who did not survive a helicopter crash in Alaska at the end of March. “I can’t put into words how this loss affected us. But his thoughts will continue to be with us here – through the foundation, among other things. “We are here with me now to continue the work that Peter and I have begun,” said the Kellner Foundation, which became the caretaker of his estate after the death of her husband.

Instead of the late Petr Kellner, Radek Špíšek, director of the biotechnology company Sotio, which belongs to the PPF group, became a member of the board of directors. “He added a three-member board alongside its chairwoman Renáta Kellnerová and member Petra Dobešová,” said Jitka Tkadlecová, a spokeswoman for the foundation, in a press release.

In the end of the school year, the foundation provided 96 students of the eight-year-old Open Gate grammar school with social scholarships. For many years, children from children’s homes, foster families or so-called kangaroos have also had a chance to study at this prestigious school. Another 53 students at foreign and domestic universities received financial grants. After completing their university studies, scholarship holders undertake to work for at least three years in the next 15 years for the benefit of the Czech Republic, Tkadlecová noted.

The foundation‘s additional money went to the Helping Schools project, which involved almost 3,000 educators last year and, through them, nearly 40,000 students in 116 public elementary schools. The project is focused on the professional education of teachers, the development of reading, the critical literacy of students, and, more recently, writing, the spokesperson of the foundation added.

Kellner, who died on March 27, was considered the richest Czech. Forbes magazine estimated the value of his assets last year at $ 17.5 billion, or 382 billion crowns, which ranked him 110th among the richest people in the world. After his death, the property will most likely pass to his wife Renáta and the whole family.