Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has pledged to donate his financial data and media empire to charity after he dies.
The former New York Mayor said at an event on Thursday that he would leave his multibillion-dollar company to his charity, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in his will.
Speaking at the Climate Summit hosted by the New York Times, he said: “When I die, the foundation inherits the company. They, because of the tax laws, will have to get rid of it, sell it someplace or other over the first five years.”
He added: “I’m 81 years old. Common sense says I should have succession plans, and so I’ve straightened out – everybody knows who’s going to run the company down the road.”
It follows speculation about what would happen to the private US company after the death of Mr Bloomberg, who is the majority owner.
The octogenarian has two daughters but neither are involved in the business. Georgina Bloomberg is a professional horse rider while Emma is founder and chief executive of data and analytics company Murmuration.
Mr Bloomberg, who is estimated to be worth more than $90bn (£73bn), founded his eponymous company in New York in 1981.
It provides financial data to Wall Street and City of London companies and has evolved to become an integral part of international finance. The company also runs a TV station and various other media assets.
The mogul owns 88pc of the company, which generates about $12bn a year in revenues.
Mr Bloomberg, who was mayor of New York between 2002 and 2013, stepped down as de-facto chief executive of the company last month as part of a leadership overhaul, although he continues to work on the firm’s “priorities” with co-founder Tom Secunda.
The shake-up saw Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, hired as chairman of Bloomberg’s board of directors.
Mr Bloomberg said on Thursday: “I’ve got a board that I think can contribute a lot to how [the company] will behave in a world where I’m not there.”
He said almost all of the company’s profits are already donated to the Bloomberg Philanthropies foundation, which gave away $1.7bn last year.
Bloomberg LP is best-known for its computer “terminals”, which provides real-time financial market data from interest rate bets to bond prices, as well as news for investors. Subscriptions to the device cost $24,000 per year per person.