As hedge fund wealth asserts itself in real estate and rare art, it is also reverberating through New York's philanthropic organizations. To the delight of fund-raisers, the success of hedge funds is creating a new pool of wealthy donors worth tens of millions, even hundreds of millions, of dollars, according to the New York Times.
For example, Jamie Niven of Sotheby's was recently responsible for dispensing with a Ford Mustang that was a door prize at the Robin Hood Ball, a charity event in New York that is dominated by wealthy hedge fund managers. But the accountant, who initially won it in a raffle, immediately donated it back. When Niven tried to auction it, those winners did the same. Finally, he insisted on giving the Mustang to the next bidder for $50,000. The car brought in a total of $390,000.
"Normally the car is the most important thing you are selling," Niven told the New York Times. "At Robin Hood, it's the door prize."
Managers of hedge funds - private pools of managed capital that have historically produced outsize returns while charging unusually high fees - can take home as much as 20% of the profits. The amount that hedge funds manage has soared from $40 billion just 15 years ago to $1 trillion today, meaning billions in profits for investors and managers.
"The explosion of the hedge fund community makes it extremely attractive" to charities, said Reynold Levy, president of Lincoln Center, which just raised $1.4 million with its first Hedge Fund Council gala.
Because fund managers tend to be young and not yet wedded to a cause, boards of non-profits see them as a natural target.
"We thought it could be a major breakthrough, and we think it was," Levy said.
The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.