Speaking at the University of Sydney’s Great Hall last Friday, Chancellor, Belinda Hutchinson AM said the Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa) was conferred in recognition of Sir Hintze’s valuable contributions to engineering and business.
“Sir Michael is one of the world’s most successful investors and hedge fund managers in addition to being a distinguished philanthropist, with his contributions to society recognised globally,” said Ms Hutchinson.
“He has achieved substantial success in his career in global finance and through his generous philanthropic efforts has made valuable contributions supporting over 200 causes, particularly in the areas of education, health, the armed services, culture and the arts,” said Ms Hutchinson.
Sir Michael studied a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Pure Mathematics and a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering. He completed further studies at the University of New South Wales and Harvard Business School. He was an undergraduate at St John’s College and was named Patron of the College’s 150th Anniversary Capital Appeal. In 2010 the college opened the Michael Hintze residential wing.
Following his undergraduate studies, Sir Michael served in the Australian Regular Army, rising to the rank of Captain in the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He worked as an electrical design engineer in Australia before moving to the United States and then London to begin his career in finance, working at Salomon Brothers, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. In 1999 he founded credit-focused asset management firm, CQS.
Sir Michael has been invited to sit on several boards and government panels including the Australian Treasury, Vatican Bank, the Bank of England and the Prince of Wales’ Council of the Duchy of Cornwall.
Sir Michael’s generosity to the University of Sydney has enabled the establishment of the Centre for International Security Studies along with the Michael Hintze Chair to produce innovative research and education programs on the enduring and emerging security challenges facing Australia, the Asia-Pacific and the world. He is a member of the INSPIRED campaign board, a significant supporter of the Macleay Museum and a longtime supporter of the University of Sydney United Kingdom Alumni Association.
His major donation to the Charles Perkins Centre enabled the Michael Hintze Incubator and Innovation Fund that has helped develop stem cell therapy for pain management, a nutrition monitoring app based on novel integrative precision nutrition research, as well as Elastagen — a clinical stage biotechnology company sold to pharmaceutical company Allergen for over $100 million last year.
In 2005, together with his wife, Dorothy, Sir Michael established the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation which has made significant philanthropic contributions to over 200 causes. He is on the International Council of the Victoria and Albert Museum and is a Patron of the Arts of the Vatican Museums.
Sir Michael and Lady Hintze received the Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy in November 2009, in recognition of their substantial support of the arts. His knighthood was announced in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to the arts. He was appointed Senior Vice Patron of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity in acknowledgement of his long-term commitment to the organisation which has included the provision of funding to support serving personnel and their families. In 2017, he featured on the Debrett’s 500, a list of Britain’s most influential philanthropists. In addition, he received his first Papal knighthood in 2005, was named as the UK Australian of the Year in 2008 and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2013.