Status: Growing.

Why we’re watching: Post-divorce Bill Gates has a net worth of $130 billion, according to Bloomberg, and he remains an aggressive and committed philanthropist. Gates may end up directing more funds through Gates Ventures, his personal office.

Leadership: Larry Cohen, CEO.
Staff: Over 150, according to LinkedIn.
Notable hire: A former top communications official at the Gates Foundation, Alex Reid, just rejoined the Gates orbit as chief communications officer at Gates Ventures.
HQ: Kirkland, Washington.
Tidbit: Gates Ventures used to go by the name bgC3, which some say stood for “Bill Gates Catalyst” with the numeral representing his third endeavor, after Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Follow: Stephanie Beasley and Catherine Cheney.

Analysis: The Gates Foundation is enormous and structured, and it has a new group of independent board members. It’s no longer a vehicle that Gates can use to make unilateral decisions about grants or initiatives that interest him. That, plus the strain 91-year-old Warren Buffett’s coming funds could place on the foundation’s systems — he has donated around $33 billion to the Gates Foundation so far and only given away half of the Berkshire Hathaway shares he has pledged to dedicate to philanthropy, with the remaining shares valued at approximately $100 billion — make it all the more likely Bill Gates will utilize his own personal office to make more philanthropic gifts and impact investments. Gates Ventures has doubled its staff in just a few years and has created an institution in its own right in Breakthrough Energy, the climate innovation venture led by Jonah Goldman, who also wears a managing director hat inside Gates Ventures. Beyond his money, Gates has become an influential commentator on global health and climate policies, a role that could become decoupled from the Gates Foundation over time. — RK.

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