Annual party likely to be De Beers boss Nicky Oppenheimer’s last.

The Diamond Trading Company (DTC) celebrated the start of the 2012 sales year on Tuesday at its annual Chairman’s Cocktail Reception.

The event for DTC Sightholders was hosted by De Beers Group chairman Nicky Oppenheimer and DTC chief executive Varda Shine, and was attended by Anglo American chief executive Cynthia Carroll and De Beers Group chief executive Philippe Mellier, CEO of the De Beers Group.


This was likely to be the last Chairman’s Cocktail Reception attended by Oppenheimer, as he and his family prepare to exit the De Beers Group. In recognition of this Carroll addressed the party with a tribute to the Oppenheimer’s long association with De Beers and diamonds.

She said: “The contribution the Oppenheimer family has made will always remain at the heart of De Beers, just as it will remain at the heart of Anglo American, which was itself founded by Nicky’s grandfather Sir Ernest Oppenheimer. Anglo American and De Beers have a shared history and shared values.

“At the heart of De Beers’ commitment to partnership is our relationship with Sightholders. As the world’s leading diamantaires, Sightholders play a critical role in the success of De Beers and the development of the diamond market. I firmly believe that the unique strengths of De Beers and its Sightholders, combined with the scale and resources of the Anglo American Group, can bring even greater future success. We are committed to our partnership with Sightholders and to working together to make that future an exciting reality.”

Oppenheimer expressed his gratitude for the tributes to the role of the Oppenheimer family in the diamond industry. He said: “I cannot disguise that this is a moving occasion for me personally, but I am proud of the contribution my family has been able to make to what I believe is the most exciting industry in the world. I know that, with the support of Anglo American and the commitment of Philippe Mellier, De Beers, our Sightholders and our producer partners have a rich and rewarding future ahead of them.”

Shine also took the floor and spoke to the room, commending the Sightholders for their hard work and commitment during 2011. She added: “This was undoubtedly a successful year for the diamond industry and I was heartened to see Sightholders perform strongly despite the challenges we all faced. Sightholders are the leaders of the diamond industry. With this comes privilege, but also the responsibility to lead the way by ensuring we are up to diamonds in everything we do. Together, Sightholders, producer partners and the DTC create a formidable team; one that is more than capable of fulfilling the promise of the diamond decade”.