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Steven Hellman is an internationally recognized venture capital and private equity investor, global investment and private banking executive, international business lawyer and securities attorney as well as an entrepreneur and founding board member of UniSite (a leader in wireless tower collocation).
Hellman lived an unconventional and mixed upbringing, mixing Jewish culture and southern roots. Her memoirs reflect this confusion as she attempts to make sense of herself through words.
Early Life and Education
Steve Hellman is Vice President at Thermal Insulation, Inc. where he provides insulation, sealant and fireproofing services to energy, institutional and industrial markets. He holds both his B.A. (1986) and J.D. (1989) from University of California Berkeley.
Hellman quickly rose through the ranks at Lehman Brothers, becoming its youngest partner ever at just 28. After brief stint in venture capital, Hellman returned home to California and helped create Hellman & Friedman as a powerhouse firm in buyout investing.
He also contributed time and money to local causes – some political, some not – including creating an endowment fund for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass that will continue funding the festival after both himself and Donna pass away.
Steve Hellman is a business manager and lawyer with extensive expertise in finance and legal matters. He has advised on numerous projects across the US, UK and Russia/CIS regions as well as being hired as a consultant by various global corporations.
Hellman created two critically acclaimed plays during this period: World War II-inspired Watch on the Rhine and more intimate Toys in the Attic. She remains controversial offstage, however; biographers questioning her portrayal as engaging in anti-Nazi activities.
Hellman has made many generous philanthropic contributions, including funding the UCSF Koegel Autism Center and human rights violations around the globe. Additionally, he co-founded the Society of Hellman Fellows which offers grants to researchers at UC Berkeley.
Achievement and Honors
His background in industrial engineering and political science qualifies him for work in multiple technical environments. Additionally, he frequently speaks on corporate governance and securities law topics.
Hellman’s plays were often controversial, such as her 1934 masterpiece The Children’s Hour which detailed the effects of spreading rumors that two female teachers in a small town may be lesbians. Hellman became involved with left-wing activism and had an intense romance with novelist Dashiell Hammett before she was called before HUAC for testimony but refused to name any friends and colleagues she encountered at that time.
Hellman soon after left the stage to team with Jack Nicholson to direct two low-budget actioners for Roger Corman’s indie production company. Additionally, Hellman shot existential Westerns like The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind on location in Utah.
Steven Hellman brings over three decades of experience to his roles as an oil and gas, private equity, and global investment banking investor. Throughout this time he has built, financed, managed, restructured, bought businesses across varying economic conditions and geographic settings – currently sitting on several public boards including Eos Energy Storage and Convergent Energy + Power as board of director memberships.
Robert Hellman is also a part-time high school teacher, offering Honors and AP Physics at Port Washington High School in Seattle. In his free time he enjoys bicycling and skiing with his family; both reside in the Bay Area. Since 1994 he has made significant gifts to Berkeley; among these donations was one that established its Hellman Fellows Program; this has since been endowed in perpetuity.
Hellman founded KKR, which is best known for its leveraged buyouts. KKR first made headlines by taking Levi Strauss & Co private in 1985 through what was at that time, the largest publicly held buyout ever undertaken by any firm. Hellman himself is descended from prominent early California banker and philanthropist Isaias Hellman.
He led months of negotiations between San Francisco union leaders and city politicians regarding an action plan to defuse San Francisco’s pension system, widely considered an economic time bomb.
He was an amateur banjo player and in 1998 founded the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. Although its budget remains undisclosed, an endowment fund was set up so it would continue even after his passing – though unfortunately he has since passed on, while it still thrives today.