CEO of the biotech company Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, recently announced that he plans to give away some of his fortune.
Although he’s pledged at least $355 million dollars to start, Bancel’s estimated net worth is $4.1 billion dollars. He recently told Bloomberg that he wants to focus on donating to global healthcare, food security, and combating climate change.
“We don’t need a lot of money, and we want to use the money to help suffering in the world,” he told the publication. He said that he wants to hold onto some money for his children’s education and their family home, adding, “but the rest we’re going to give away.”
Stéphane Bancel Plans To Donate Modern Stock Options To Tackle Global Issues
In a blog post that he recently shared, Bancel revealed that he is going to donate the proceeds of his stock options that he received when he first joined Moderna in 2013. He estimates that this will generate about $355 million dollars after taxes. He said that “having a mindset that you exist to serve a greater good” was why he planned to give his money away.
Bancel explained that he was “resolute” in his belief that “mRNA would change the world” when he first joined Moderna almost eleven years ago. He credited the company for providing his family “with financial security the likes of which I never imagined or, frankly, sought.” He said that he was sharing how he planned to spend his personal finances to “better the world.”
He explained that, as a child growing up in France, he was raised by Jesuit teachings of “magis,” which is a personal dedication to “strive for excellence.” He also credits his belief in “servant leadership” or “having a mindset that you exist to serve a greater good” as a reason for his philanthropy.
He described those ideals as “forming the basis of who I am, and strive to be.” Bancel said that he and his wife, Brenda, will be “donating all the after-tax proceeds of my original stock options from when I joined Moderna in 2013.”
He explained, “We believe this will result in a charitable donation of around $355 million (assuming the stock is trading at around $140/share), and this is after around $280 million in state and federal tax payments.”
‘I would like to explain where this money is coming from, and why I am announcing this now’
In the “spirit of transparency,” Bancel explained why he decided to make this decision now. He said that his first stock option grant expires in August 2023.
“I have never exercised a single stock option since joining Moderna in July 2011, almost 11 years ago,” he said. “I have sold Moderna stock under 10b5-1 plans (which are pre-established plans that allow executives and others to buy or sell stock when they are not in possession of inside information), and gifted Moderna stock to charity, but all of this was stock I purchased with my family’s savings prior to the company going public.”
Bancel further claimed that he is “the only investor in the world who invested in Moderna by purchasing in the Series A, B, C, D, E, F and G fundraising rounds prior to our IPO.”
He said that he decided to “Exercise the option and use this moment to create positive change in the world.”
He described in detail exactly how many shares he plans to sell, and when, “to avoid a significant number of shares coming to the market at once and potentially impacting the price of Moderna’s shares.”
Bancel added that “there may be uninformed commentary about my motivations for these sales” in the coming months, but insisted that he wanted to “share this news now and to provide you with transparency on our plans.”
He concluded by saying, “I believe that the best days of Moderna are ahead. We are just getting started with our mRNA platform, and through all the uncertainty in the world today, one thing holds true to me—I believe that Moderna and mRNA technology will change the future of healthcare and make a tremendous impact on patients worldwide. This is just the beginning…”