MIB: Lee Cooperman on Giving Away Billions

Lee Cooperman of Omega Advisors has a billion-dollar problem. Over the course of his career, he has accumulated lots of money. Now, he plans on giving it all away during his lifetime.

This turns out to be much more challenging than you might imagine.

First, you have to wind down the hedge fund you have managed for the past 25 years. It takes time, and by December 31, 2018, Cooperman will have returned billions of dollars in capital to clients. The firm’s flagship fund has significantly outperformed the S&P 500 over that time, and you might imagine his clients would have preferred he kept their money.

Now 75 years old, he says he is “tired of the monthly chase of the S&P500” and today is more interested in managing the assets for longer term, after tax returns. Simultaneously, he is converting his billions in that fund into a “family office.”

The billionaire philanthropist is a member to Warren Buffett’s and Bill Gates’ Giving Pledge. He sends 500 New Jersey students to college each year, is a major donor to Columbia University and Hunter College, and was the first in the country to endow Birthright Israel. He has committed to donating his entire fortune to charity during his lifetime.

A few favorite books are referenced here; (we will update this with a link to the transcript once it becomes available).

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunesStitcherOvercast, and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with venture capitalist Bill Janeway, and former Warburg Pincus banker, where he co-founded and funded BEA Systems.



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