Vincent Mai is a businessman and financier who has been engaged in a range of philanthropic activities for several decades. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of The Cranemere Group Limited, an investment holding company. Having led AEA Investors, a New York based private equity firm, for many years, he then founded Cranemere in the belief that investors were better served by owning shares in a private company with a permanent capital structure whose main objective is to work in partnership with good management teams to own high quality companies for the long term. During his career, Mr. Mai has served on many corporate boards including Burt’s Bees (Chairman), Dal-Tile, Healthco, Sola, and Specialty Coatings. Prior to joining AEA he was a partner at Lehman Brothers in New York and before that he was an Executive Director of S.G. Warburg & Co., Ltd. In London.
Mr. Mai’s philanthropic activities have included a focus on early childhood development with the belief that the first five years of a child’s life are amongst the most important from an education and development standpoint. He is the Chairman of the Board of Sesame Workshop, a leading not-for-profit institution that uses media and technology to promote learning and good life habits to small children in the US and globally. He is also actively engaged in a wide range of human rights issues including serving as the founding chairman, 15 years ago, of the International Center for Transitional Justice, a non-profit organization dedicated to pursuing accountability for mass human rights abuses through transitional justice mechanisms.
Mr. Mai is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served on its board from 1998 to 2004. He co-chaired a report on Angola issued by the Council in 2007. He is also a Trustee of the American Academy in Berlin. He was a Trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York for ten years. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Julliard School and co-hosts Telluride Musicfest, a chamber music concert series organized every summer in Telluride, Colorado. He has been honored by several organizations including Fountain House, The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Global Kids, The Merage Foundation, The Africa-America Institute, The National Child Labor Committee as a recipient of the David T. Kearns Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education, and The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization as a recipient of the 2012 Ripple of Hope Award.
He grew up on a farm in the Eastern Cape, South Africa and was educated at the University of Cape Town. He lives in Port Washington, Long Island and is married with three children and five grandchildren.