Divesh Makan

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Person.png Divesh Makan   CrunchbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(millionaire, financier)
Divesh Makan.jpg
Alma materIndian Institute of Technology Bombay, University of Natal
"The spider of Silicon Valley" big money manager and "consigliere" to billionaire, especially Mark Zuckerberg.

Divesh Kanthylal Makan founded ICONIQ Capital, an ultra-secretive members-only Silicon Valley billionaires investment club.

Described by Forbes with the mafia term "consigliere", his company operates "as a cross between a family office and a venture capital fund". His most famous client and the key to his success is billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, whom Makan met in 2004 when he was a broker at Goldman Sachs.[1]

A 2015 Forbes article points out that Makan’s wealth management approach flies in the face of widely accepted post-Madoff best practices for advisors, which preach strict adherence to corporate protocols and regulatory rules. “When someone like Iconiq wants to invest, you can’t say no,” says internet entrepreneur Ragy Thomas. “They can probably connect to anyone in the world."

Early Career

Makan has an electrical engineering degree from South Africa’s University of Natal, a management consulting stint at Accenture and a an MBA from Wharton School of Finance. Makan thought he’d make his career in investment banking or private equity. But the dot-com crash in 2000 and recession forced him into a retail sales job in Goldman SachsSan Francisco wealth advisory office. Makan rarely handed out business cards—distancing himself from the vanilla “wealth advisor” label—but he worked hard to ingratiate himself to young moguls, finding clients before they became household names.[1]

Makan maintained that he left Goldman Sachs in 2008 due to a workplace disagreement. However, the investment banking firm insisted that they dismissed him due to a loss of trust. He joined Morgan Stanley for a short period. Eventually, Makan and two other colleagues who had followed him when he left Goldman Sachs established Iconiq after leaving Morgan Stanley.[2]

The secretive Iconiq

Iconiq’s advisory services represent only one thread of the dealmaking web Makan has woven thanks to the abundance of Zuckerberg cronies on his client roster, including Facebook’s Dustin Moskovitz and Sheryl Sandberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman. His board of directors is another power list, with non-tech titans like Henry Kravis and David Bonderman, Chase Coleman and steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal’s son Aditya.[1]

The founder has relentlessly cultivated this network, throwing private “fireside chats” featuring clients and glitzy retreats where his stable of VIPs can hobnob.[3] Makan shuns publicity and goes as far as to require clients to sign non-disclosure agreements. [1]

In March 2020, according to its most recent public filings, Iconiq had about $22 billion in assets under management on a discretionary basis and another $17.5 billion nondiscretionary.[3]

The firm distinguishes itself from rivals in two ways. The first is its reputation for willingness to cater to clients’ every need. “You can have your entire life run through Iconiq if you want,” one former employee said. The second is that all-important network. It’s the implicit promise that by joining Iconiq’s ranks, you’ll see the most exclusive investment opportunities money and prestige can buy; that you’re part of tech’s ultimate brain trust, the elite of the elite. [3]

In a 2015 Forbes article, competing venture capital fund Bruce Brugler points out that what could disrupt Iconiq’s growth trajectory is a severe downturn in the overheated market for tech stocks and IPOs. “They’re making a huge bet on the continued bull market, the sex appeal of a ‘Friends of Zuckerberg’ fund and co-investments that could make them look like heroes,” Brugler says, “but they haven’t been through the down cycle yet.”[1]

Notable high net worth clients

The majority of the clients remains as secretive as the rest of Iconiq’s operation[4]. Iconiq hasn’t retained every customer. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — often cited as one of Iconiq’s most high-profile clients — discreetly ended most of his ties with the firm.

But according to Forbes[1] and Business insider,[5] ICONIQ Capital has served the following high net worth clients:





Events Participated in

Bilderberg/20169 June 201612 June 2016Germany
The 2016 Bilderberg meeting took place in Dresden, Germany.
Bilderberg/20187 June 201810 June 2018Italy
Hotel Torino Lingotto Congress
The 66th Bilderberg Meeting, in Turin, Italy, known for months in advance after an unprecedented leak by the Serbian government.
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