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Gates Foundation restructures

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it will split the organization in two and spend all its assets within 50 years of the death of its last trustee.

The organizational split is designed to separate the investment functions from the grantmaking and program functions, the funder says.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust will be formed to manage the investment of the funder’s assets, with the Gates serving as trustees.

The Gateses and Warren Buffett, who recently pledged $31 billion to the foundation, will serve as trustees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will run all grantmaking and program operations.

In an effort to bring about fundamental change in a few focused areas, the foundation says it will spend down all the assets of the foundation within 50 years of the death of the Gateses and Buffett.

Grantmaking by the foundation, which is expected to be about $3.5 billion a year beginning in 2009, will be targeted at improving global health, global development, access to education and technology in public libraries in the U.S.

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