Co-founder and funder (with Alfred Beit) of the Royal School of Mines building.
Born Damstadt, Germany, came to London in 1871, and, acting as a diamond agent, went to Kimberly in South Africa. Returned to London in 1880 to run the London end of Wernher, Beit & Co (later De Beers) , the company he had formed with his friend Beit. The fortune he amassed from his gold-mining went to fund his art-collecting habit. This collection is now on public display at Ranger's House in Blackheath.
See Otto Beit's page for the difficulties the source of Wernher's wealth is causing Imperial College in 2021.