Bertil Hult

About Bertil Hult

Birth Year: 1941
Birth Place: Lucerne, Switzerland, Sweden
Residence: Lucerne, Switzerland
Citizenship: Sweden
Occupation: Board member
Spouse(s): Lisbeth Hult, married 1974
Children: 4 sons

Bertil Hult

Bertil Hult was born on 1941 in Lucerne, Switzerland, Sweden. Bertil Hult dropped out of college after just a year to start a business in his dormitory's basement, organizing summer trips to help Swedish students learn English in the UK during their holiday break. Today his company, EF Education First, run by his three oldest sons, offers cultural exchanges, educational travel, language training and degree programs in 53 countries. It is the official supplier of language training for the Olympic games; for the 2016 games in Rio De Janeiro, EF says it helped teach English to 1 million Brazilians. A dyslexic, he donates money to a Swedish school that focuses on innovative approaches to educating children with the learning disability. He is friendly with the Swedish royal family and together with the Queen he founded the Mentor Foundation, which works to prevent substance abuse. He is also the benefactor of the Hult Prize, a partnership with former President Bill Clinton that awards $1 million in seed funding to the winners of a student competition focused on launching a social business that solves specific challenges like food security, water quality and access, and early childhood education in the urban slums.
Bertil Hult is a member of Service

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Apart from EF, Bertil Hult has been involved in charities fighting drug abuse and promoting dyslexia education. In 1993, he was a founding member of the Geneva based Mentor Foundation, “an independent, non-governmental, not for profit, apolitical organization” focused on supporting research and initiatives in drug prevention. He has since served as chairman and currently as trustee for the foundation. Bertil Hult also supports the Bertil Hult Prize. Starting in 2003, the Bertil Hult Prize has been given to a Swedish school once every year, based on their support for dyslexia education.


He served as the company's CEO until 2002, as its chairman until 2008, and is now semi-retired. Under Bertil Hult's supervision, EF grew to become a multi-billion dollar corporation with more than 40,000 employees across 500 schools and educational programs in 53 different countries. EF continues to open language schools around the world, grow its online language school (EF Englishtown), place au pairs with American families, coordinate life-changing student travel and international exchange experiences. EF is affiliated with a Business school, Hult International Business School, formerly the Arthur D. Little School of Management, which is named after Bertil Hult.


In 2006 he was elected International Swede of the Year. In 2012, Bertil Hult was awarded the Lucia Trade Award by the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce for his contribution to fostering free trade between Sweden and the United States. In 2014, Bertil Hult was named a Laureate by the World Entrepreneurship Forum. The award recognizes "exceptional entrepreneurs for their impact on society and their capacity to change the world."


EF Education First is wholly owned by Bertil Hult and his family. Forbes estimates Bertil's net worth to be 5 billion USD as of March, 2015. He is a keen Sailor and his boat, EF Education with Skipper Paul Cayard, won the last Whitbread Round the World Race in 1998. Today, he sails on his boat Erica XII. The boat is known for hosting the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel on their honeymoon.

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