Ernesto Bertarelli is a Swiss entrepreneur active in the fields of business, finance, sport and philanthropy. Born in Rome in 1965, he graduated from Babson College in 1989 and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School in 1993.
Ernesto was appointed CEO of Serono in 1996. Under his leadership, Serono shifted its focus from pharmaceuticals to biotechnology and, over the course of the ensuing decade, revenues more than tripled. In 2007, Serono was sold to Merck KGaA of Germany.
Ernesto’s current business interests include the Waypoint group of asset management and life science investment businesses. Between 2002 and 2009 he served as a board director of UBS AG.
Ernesto is the Co-Chair of the Bertarelli Foundation. He is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Board at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), of the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows and of Stanford Medicine Board of Fellows. In 2008 he was inducted into Babson College’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs. He was also awarded the Légion d’Honneur by President Jacques Chirac of France and the Cavaliere di Gran Croce by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic.
In 2000, Ernesto founded the yachting team Alinghi, which in 2003 defeated Team New Zealand in Auckland to win the America’s Cup, the first time a team had ever won the coveted sailing trophy on its first attempt. The victory brought the Cup back to Europe for the first time since 1851. Ernesto himself served as navigator in 2003 and as an afterguard runner and grinder in 2007, when Alinghi defended the America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain.
Ernesto is married to Kirsty, with whom he lives in Switzerland with their three children. Born in Staffordshire, UK, Kirsty is a talented singer-songwriter and, in addition to her work with the Bertarelli Foundation, is developing her music career, having recently signed as an artist with Decca Music.