Ernesto Bertarelli is, with his sister Dona, President of the Bertarelli Foundation, which was founded in memory of their father, Fabio. A Swiss entrepreneur and sportsman, he was born in Rome, graduated from Babson College and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He sits on the Stanford Medicine Board of Fellows, as he also does at Harvard Medical School, and on the Strategic Advisory Board at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). He led the Bertarelli Foundation in initiating the trans-Atlantic neuroscience programme and partnership between those latter two institutions.
Ernesto’s current professional interests include Waypoint Capital, which manages a large group of asset management, real estate and healthcare investment businesses that he founded and chairs. It incorporates Gurnet Point Capital, a life sciences fund based in Boston, and Boston Pharmaceuticals, an innovative drug-development company. Between 2002 and 2009, he served as a board director of UBS AG.
The Bertarelli name is most closely associated with the global biotechnology firm Serono, SA, which was grown over the course of three generations of the family. Ernesto was appointed CEO in 1996. Under his leadership, Serono accelerated its move from pharmaceuticals to biotechnology. Over the course of the ensuing decade, during which the business was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, revenues more than tripled to reach $2.8 billion in 2006. In 2007, Serono was sold to Merck KGaA of Germany.
Ernesto Bertarelli was awarded the Légion d’Honneur by President Jacques Chirac of France and the Cavaliere di Gran Croce by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic. He and his family established the Bertarelli Foundation to manage their charitable giving and philanthropic projects. In 2000, Ernesto founded the yachting team Alinghi, which in 2003 defeated Team New Zealand in Auckland to win the America’s Cup, the first time a team had ever won the coveted sailing trophy on its first attempt and the first from Europe. The team successfully defended its title in 2007, in Valencia.