Gates & Buffett's billionaire pledge — Amazon's at-home tests — Ian Osborne's secret life

 
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Welcome to this weekly roundup of stories from Insider's Business co-Editor in Chief Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.

What we're going over today:

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What's trending this morning:


Billionaires who pledged half their wealth to charity are moving slow — and still getting massive tax breaks.

Some of America's richest families signed the Giving Pledge, a public promise initiated by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to give at least half of their wealth to charitable causes — but many have been slow to make good on their promise:

Death was the Giving Pledge deadline. You could give half your money away beforehand, or you could leave it to charity in your will. Mark Zuckerberg, who at age 26 was among the second group of Giving Pledge signers, made clear that he did not intend to wait nearly that long.

"People wait until late in their career to give back," Zuckerberg said in a Giving Pledge press release. "But why wait when there is so much to be done?"

But waiting, it turns out, is precisely what Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan have done. During its first five years, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative handed out a total of $2.7 billion in grants — roughly 6% of their wealth at the time they made their pledge. 

Zuckerberg is not the only signatory to take things slow. Elon Musk, who signed the pledge in 2012, has donated only $100 million so far — less one-tenth of 1% of his current net worth. 

Read our full report here:

Also read:


Amazon plans a new at-home medical-test brand

Jeff Bezos

Amazon is considering the launch of a new line of business, called "Diagnostics," that would offer an array of at-home medical tests and a third-party marketplace for general home-diagnostics services:

The company is in talks to launch its own COVID-19 testing kit in June, potentially around the start of its Prime Day annual shopping event, according to people directly involved in the matter.

Additionally, Amazon could expand to offer testing kits for infections that lead to respiratory and sexually transmitted diseases. Amazon's long-term goal is to expand into other areas, such as clinical genomics, and launch a third-party marketplace that sells medical tests from other companies.

Plans for Amazon's new home-testing products represent the retail giant's first foray into the health-diagnostics space. They're part of Amazon's expansion into the broader healthcare industry.

Here's a look at what we know so far:

Also read:


The secret life of Ian Osborne

ian osborne

British investor Ian Osborne has dazzled the tech and finance industries through Social Capital Hedosophia, his SPAC with Chamath Palihapitiya. We spoke to more than 30 of Osborne's associates to learn more about the man at the forefront of the "blank check" investment frenzy:

An elusive power broker, Osborne does not like to be in the spotlight, though he's frequently at the center of the action — SCH dazzled Wall Street with its first reverse merger with Virgin Galactic in 2019, igniting the current SPAC craze.

Part connector, part fixer-for-hire, the 38-year-old is an unlikely lord of high finance and tech. Through means that aren't entirely clear to even some close acquaintances, he has finagled his way into the circuits and pocketbooks of the world's most rich and famous, earning favor by doing favors, and parlaying his impressive black book into a lucrative, and sometimes mysterious, career. 

"How he got to the level he did, I don't know but it's an art," one longtime friend and business associate told Insider.

Take a look inside Osborne's enigmatic life:

Also read:


Who is Mala Gaonkar?

mala gaonkar hedge fund 4x3

Mala Gaonkar is one of three people running $30 billion Lone Pine Capital, alongside Kelly Granat and David Craver, taking over the firm from the billionaire founder Stephen Mandel Jr., who retired at the beginning of 2019. We looked into one of the industry's more interesting characters:

An upside-down investing landscape requires an outside-the-box thinker.

For stock investors nowadays, thinking about what the future looks like might be more important than the company's current performance. In essence, that means copying what Gaonkar and Lone Pine have been doing for years. 

Gaonkar is the firm's expert on the bigger picture — she's less interested in a company's latest earnings release and more focused on what trends will be dominating the world in a couple of years' time.

We explored what, exactly, makes Gaonkar such a trailblazer:

Also read:


ICYMI: What you need to know about the WarnerMedia-Discovery deal

WarnerMedia Stankey

AT&T announced this week it would spin off WarnerMedia and combine it with Discovery Communications in a blockbuster deal that would bring a bevy of media brands — including CNN, HBO, and HGTV — under one roof.

To help you make sense of the massive merger, we compiled the stories you'll need to read to stay up to date:


Lastly, here are some headlines you might have missed last week.

— Matt

 
 
 
 
 
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