Published On

February 18, 2016

Published In


ByDana Sanchez

February 8, 2016

Human capital is the world’s best investment, which is why Africa – with its youthful demographic – is such an attractive place to invest, said investor and philanthropistMichael Milken.

Milken spoke at aTIGER 21 conference in Los Angles, according to a report inFinancial Advisor Magazine.

Half the population is under age 18 in 15 sub-Saharan African countries, according to theU.N. Nations Population Fund.

TIGER 21is a North American peer-to-peer learning network for high-net-worth investors. Its members collectively manage $35 billion in investable assets, according to theTIGER 21 website. Members are entrepreneurs, CEOs, inventors and executives with backgrounds in financial services, real estate, industrial and consumer goods, legal services, entertainment and medicine.

A former junk-bond king, Milken was convicted in1990 for securities fraud, CNBCreported.He’sconsidered one of Wall Street’s most successful come-back stories, and is nowthe chairman of aninstitute that bears his name.

Milken’s “people-power” approach is full of optimism fortechnology, Africa and an aging population, according to the report. Milken is bullish on sub-Saharan Africa, were he says advances in health and human services willmean people can live longer and economies can thrive.

Technology and medical research are areas of interestto Milken, who found outin 1993that he had cancer. He was told he had12 to 18 months to live, according to Financial Advisor Magazine.

Improving health care is theNo. 1 priority formost sub-Saharan countries who responded to aPew Research Center survey released in September, according to CNBC.

Medical research and public health have been two of the primary drivers of global growth but sub-Saharan Africa has yet to benefit from that, Milken said atthe Milken Institute’s annual summit in 2015.The summit is geared towards human capital and how financial markets can address urgent social and economic problems.

Milken speaks highly of immigrants: 50 percent of the scientists and engineers in Silicon Valley are first-generation immigrants, he told a crowd of 600-plus at the TIGER 21conference.

Milken made a name for himself as head of junk bonds at Drexel Burnham Lambert in the 1980s and later pleaded guilty to six felony charges of securities fraud and conspiracy,NYTimesreported. He was banned for life from the securities industry.

He has done a lot torestore his image.