Aharon Dovrat, our founder, passed away on December 11, 2008.
Born in Argentina, Aharon Dovrat immigrated to Israel in 1958 and soon became one of the leading figures in the Israeli economy. In 1962 Aharon Dovrat was appointed CEO of the Clal Group, then a passive Israeli holding company with $20 million in capital. Under his stewardship, the company grew rapidly. By the time he stepped down in 1991, the company had a market capitalization of over $800 million, aggregate annual consolidated sales in excess of $2.5 billion, and 32 of its subsidiaries were traded on stock exchanges in Israel and in the United States.
In 1991, Aharon Dovrat founded the Dovrat-Shrem Group, a full service investment house the activities of which included investment banking, direct investment fund management, underwriting, securities and brokerage services, and real estate-related activities. The group played a pivotal role in the development of merchant banking and fund management in Israel. He also founded and was a board member and investment committee member of the Pitango Venture Capital Funds (formerly the Polaris Venture Capital Funds), which are among Israel's oldest, largest and most successful venture capital funds.
Aharon Dovrat left the Dovrat-Shrem Group in 1999 and co-founded the Viola Group with his son Shlomo, Harel Beit-On and Avi Zeevi.
In recent years Aharon Dovrat has served as chairman and director of several leading public companies. He served as chairman of Isal Ltd., a holding company the shares of which are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. He was also a director of Delta Galil Industries Ltd. (NYSE: DELT) and Chairman of Breezecom, where he led Alvarion's (NASDAQ: ALVR) creation as a result of the merger of Breezecom and Floware. He served as an active chairman of the investment committees of several of the investment funds managed by the Viola Group, including D Partners, Plenus Venture Lending, and Vintage Ventures.