Who are very good philanthropists? Bankers!

Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy

Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the Policy Exchange, UK’s leading think tank, the financial industry can build a strong culture of philanthropy: “Give and let Give”. The main take-away are:

” The report offers case studies to act as motivational tools and inform recommendations on how to build a culture of philanthropy “that inspires financial sector industry individuals to stretch their means and their minds for philanthropy.”

They give fascinating insight into the individual giving by many of the ‘Citerati’ – Man Group’s Stanley Fink; ex-investment banker and outgoing CEO of Marie Curie Cancer Care Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett; SVG Capital’s chairman Nick Ferguson; Nicola Horlick, founder of Bramdean Asset Management, and Goldman Sachs’ Jim O’Neil reveal the joy they have had in applying their business minds and skills to philanthropy to make a difference.

Some have been inspired to set up innovative organisations that use their skills to maximise the creation or distribution of philanthropic wealth.

The Give and Let Give report’s authors say: “Philanthropy is another form of finance – with the added complexity of social values. The skills of today’s financiers and entrepreneurs are vital to the development of a philanthropic capital market.

“Philanthropy, including social investment, requires the infrastructure and expertise seen in other financial markets if it is to develop into a financing sector in its own right and FSI professionals possess the social and financial capital to drive that development.”

Indeed the report urges City professionals and other business leaders to view philanthropy much like a career, “but with no retirement date, and to aspire to be leaders in the development of a British philanthropic capital market”.

It suggests: “Although different to a professional career, it can be considered in a similar light – an individual is motivated to start on a journey and builds up to a crescendo depending on career development, age and wealth creation.”

Sir Peter Lampl, who made his wealth in private equity before founding The Sutton Trust to improve the educational opportunities of young people from non-privileged backgrounds, learned from his time in the US how giving even affected career advancement: “I had a slightly British attitude to giving at that time and said ‘Why should I give money away?’ but it became fairly apparent that if you didn’t you would stand out, and that might affect your career prospects quite frankly, so everyone did it.

“While advancing your prospects for promotion might not be the purest motive for philanthropy, it does at least provide a powerful incentive to start the habit of giving in the early stages of a career – the more so if a company introduces its professionals to a particular cause at the same time. The latter is critical for motivation and financial services professionals need compelling stories about philanthropy in order to be encouraged to give and to give more. The industry needs to see philanthropy work successfully in the lives of those it respects professionally.”

Here are the list of notable banker, financier and philanthropists:

“Baker, George Fisher, 1840–1931, American financier and philanthropist, b. Troy, N.Y. Baker was one of the founders of the First National Bank of New York in 1863 and became (1877) its president and then (1909) chairman of its board of directors. Largely through his efforts this bank became one of the strongest financial institutions in the United States. Baker was closely associated with the interests of the house of Morgan; he helped finance James J. Hill in building his railroad empire and backed him in the fight to control the Northern Pacific RR. Baker himself became a leading figure in the world of railroad organization and finance and gained a commanding influence in insurance, utilities, and the steel and rubber industries. His philanthropic bequests were many. The most notable were million to found and support the Harvard graduate school of business administration; million to Cornell; million to build the main library at Dartmouth; and money for the athletic field at Columbia.

Brady, Diamond Jim (James Buchanan Brady), 1856–1917, American financier and philanthropist, b. New York City. He was a bellboy and messenger and then worked for the New York Central RR in various capacities. He later was employed by a railroad supply company, and his selling ability rapidly brought him a fortune. He began collecting diamonds and other jewels and amassed 30 complete sets of jewelry estimated as worth well over million. He was famous for his appetite and elaborate meals and was one of the best-known men in New York’s Broadway nightlife. In 1912 he gave funds to Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore (where he had received treatment) to found the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute. See biography by P. Morrell (1934, repr. 1970).

Buffett, Warren Edward (bŭfˈət) [key], 1930–, American financial executive, b. Omaha, Nebr., studied at Wharton School of Finance (1947–49), grad. Univ. of Nebraska (B.S., 1950), Columbia (M.S., 1951). After working as an investment salesman and securities analyst, he was partner (1956–69) in the investment firm Buffett Partnership, Ltd. In 1965, he acquired the textile manufacturer Berkshire Hathaway and became (1970) chairman and CEO. Through judicious investments and acquisitions of insurance, manufacturing, service, and other firms, Buffett has transformed Berkshire Hathaway into a large conglomerate, and his investments have made him one of the wealthiest people in the world. In 2006 he announced that he would donate the vast majority of his wealth to charity, with some billion, the largest gift, ultimately going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has coauthored Warren Buffett Speaks (with J. C. Lowe, 1997) and Thoughts of Chairman Buffett (with S. Reynolds, 1998). His father, Howard Homan Buffett, 1903–64, an investment banker, was a U.S. congressman from Nebraska (1943–49, 1951–53). See biographies by R. Lowenstein (1995) and A. Schroeder (2008); studies by A. Kirkpatrick (1992), R. G. Hagstrom (1995), and M. Buffett and D. Clark (1997).

Drexel, Anthony Joseph (drĕkˈsəl) [key], 1826–93, American banker and philanthropist, b. Philadelphia. He entered (1838) at an early age the well-known banking firm of Drexel and Company, founded by his father, Francis Martin Drexel, an Austrian immigrant. Anthony became a partner, and later under his dominant leadership the firm expanded extensively. Drexel Institute (now Drexel Univ.), opened in 1892, was the most important of his many philanthropies.

Girard, Stephen (jĭrärdˈ) [key], 1750–1831, American merchant, banker, and philanthropist, b. Bordeaux, France. Girard went to sea and at the age of 23 was a captain. In 1776 he settled in Philadelphia as a shipowner and merchant. He became wealthy and interested himself in the Bank of the United States. When its charter was not renewed, he set up his own bank in Philadelphia. He helped to finance the United States in the War of 1812, and in 1816 he put up a large amount of money for the Second Bank of the United States. Girard contributed much to the improvement of Philadelphia. He bequeathed several million dollars to found Girard College. See biographies by J. B. McMaster (1918) and C. A. Herrick (1923); H. E. Wildes, Lonely Midas (1943); M. Minnegarde, Certain Rich Men (1970).

Hirsch, Maurice, baron de (mōrēsˈ bärôNˈ də hĭrsh) [key], 1831–96, German Jewish financier and philanthropist. The benefactor of numerous organizations and causes, his most ambitious project was the Jewish Colonization Association (1891), an organization designed to facilitate the emigration of Jews from Russia to colonies in North and South America. He formulated this colonization plan after the Russian government had refused his offer of million for the establishment of proper educational conditions for Jews in that country. His other philanthropic contributions included immense sums donated to the Alliance Israélite Universelle (the first international Jewish organization), to Galician schools, and to various London hospitals.

Hopkins, Johns, 1795–1873, American financier and philanthropist, founder of Johns Hopkins Univ., b. Anne Arundel co., Md. In 1819 he founded his own commission firm, later known as Hopkins Brothers, and also went into banking. He later had a large part in the growth of the Baltimore & Ohio RR, of which he became a director in 1847. His cognizance of Baltimore’s lack of medical facilities in times of epidemic and his own scant education led him to bequeath, a few years before his death, million for the founding of a free hospital and Johns Hopkins. See biography by H. H. Thom (1929).

Loeb, James (lōb) [key], 1867–1933, American banker and philanthropist, b. New York City; son of Solomon Loeb. He entered (1888) Kuhn, Loeb and Company and retired from business at 34. Most of the rest of his life was spent abroad. He founded and endowed the Loeb Classical Library, a series of inexpensive yet attractive books containing on facing pages the original Greek and Latin texts and the English translations. He also founded (1905) in New York City the Institute of Musical Art, now part of the Juilliard School, and a clinic for psychiatric study in Munich.

Morgan, American family of financiers and philanthropists.

Junius Spencer Morgan, 1813–90, b. West Springfield, Mass., prospered at investment banking. As a boy he became a dry-goods clerk in Boston; later he entered a brokerage house in New York City. He became a partner in mercantile firms in Hartford, Conn., and in Boston and then (1854) went to London to become a partner of George Peabody. Ten years later he assumed entire control of the firm, which became J. S. Morgan & Company. He expanded this international banking enterprise, handling most of the British funds invested in the United States. His syndicate’s loan of million to the French government at the time of the Franco-Prussian War was one of the most spectacular transactions of the time.

His son, John Pierpont Morgan, 1837–1913, b. Hartford, Conn., built the family fortunes into a colossal financial and industrial empire. He studied abroad and in 1857 entered the New York City banking house of Duncan, Sherman & Company. Three years later he became the New York agent for his father’s firm in London.

On the death of his father (1890) he became sole manager of J. S. Morgan & Company—later (1910) Morgan, Grenfell & Company—of London. J. P. Morgan’s ascent to power, however, was accompanied by dramatic financial battles. He wrested control (1869) of the Albany and Susquehanna RR from Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, he led the syndicate that broke the government-financing privileges of Jay Cooke, and he developed a railroad empire by reorganizations and consolidations in all parts of the United States. In the industrial field, Morgan formed (1901) the U.S. Steel Corp., the first billion-dollar corporation in the world. He financed manufacturing and mining and controlled banks, insurance companies, shipping lines, and communications systems. Through his firm came enormous funds from abroad to develop American resources.

He was widely criticized on many occasions for backing the sale of obsolete carbines to the Union and for his gold speculations in the Civil War, for the harsh terms of his loan of gold to the federal government in the 1895 crisis, for his financial dominance in the Panic of 1907, and for bringing on the financial ills of the New York, New Haven & Hartford RR. He was largely deaf to popular criticism. In 1912 he appeared and publicly defended himself before a congressional committee headed by Arsène Pujo, which was investigating the “money trust” and which was aimed particularly at him.

Morgan was an ardent sportsman, and his yacht entered many international races. He was a prominent lay leader in the Episcopal Church. He personally dispensed numerous philanthropies, and he was a renowned art collector. After his death the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of which he had been president, received a valuable portion of his collection, which is housed in the Pierpont Morgan wing.

John Pierpont Morgan, 1867–1943, b. Irvington, N.Y., grad. Harvard, 1889, became active head of the house of Morgan when his father died in 1913. The firm was called upon to help finance World War I, and as American agent for Allied countries, the banking house raised huge funds—one issue valued at 0 million—and systematized the purchases of military supplies. In the postwar period it floated securities of foreign governments and corporations reaching billion, at the same time sponsoring over billion of domestic securities. Morgan and his partners actively promoted great mergers after 1922 and controlled numerous nonbanking corporations.

The younger J. P. Morgan resembled his father in his dislike for publicity and in continuing his father’s philanthropic policy. In 1920 he gave his London residence to the U.S. government for use as its embassy and later endowed the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City as a research institute in memory of his father. A sister of the younger J. Pierpont Morgan, Anne Morgan, 1873–1952, was devoted to numerous philanthropic and civic organizations and constantly voiced the rights of the American woman. See biographies of J. P. Morgan (1837–1913) by H. L. Satterlee (1939, repr. 1975), F. L. Allen (1949), and J. Strouse (1999). See also V. Carosso, The Morgans (1987); R. Chernow, House of Morgan (1990).

Peabody, George (pēˈbädē, –bədē) [key], 1795–1869, American financier and philanthropist, b. South Danvers (now Peabody), Mass. At the age of 11 he was apprenticed to a grocer, and later (1814) he became a partner in a dry-goods firm in Georgetown, D.C. (now in Washington, D.C.). This firm moved to Baltimore, and he established branches in New York City and Philadelphia. While on a business trip to London, Peabody negotiated (1837) a large British loan that helped save the finances of the state of Maryland, but he refused a commission for his services. Peabody settled (1837) permanently in London; there he set up a brokerage business that became increasingly prosperous, later taking on as a partner Junius Spencer Morgan. Peabody used his influence to better Anglo-American relations and financed the exhibition of American products at the Crystal Palace exhibition. Prominent among Peabody’s philanthropies were large funds given for tenement clearance in London and the Peabody Education Fund of more than ,000,000, to promote education in the South (partly used for the George Peabody College for Teachers, in Nashville, Tenn., which is now part of Vanderbilt Univ.). He also contributed to museums, universities, and libraries throughout the United States and endowed the archaeological museum of Harvard and the museum of physical sciences at Yale. See biography by F. Parker (1971)

Sage, Russell, 1815–1906, American financier, b. Oneida co., N.Y. He was successful in the grocery business in Troy, N.Y. Active in public affairs, he became (1845) alderman of Troy and served (1853–56) as a Whig member of Congress. He continued to amass great wealth by banking, and after moving (1863) to New York City he engaged in stock speculation. In association with Jay Gould, he gained extensive financial control in several Western railroads, in the elevated railway system in New York City, and in the Western Union Telegraph Company. An attempt to assassinate him in 1891 failed, resulting in the death of the would-be assassin, Henry Norcross. Upon Sage’s death, the distribution of his fortune was left in the hands of his widow, Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage, 1828–1918. She made large gifts to the Emma Willard School and to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy; established Russell Sage College; and donated money to other educational organizations and to benevolent societies. Marsh Island in the Gulf of Mexico was bought by her in 1912 and given to Louisiana as a bird sanctuary. The great single benefaction was the establishment (1907) of the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City. This institution, endowed with a total of million for “the improvement of social and living conditions” in the United States, did pioneer work in cooperating with various social agencies. In addition to conducting research activities in social welfare, public health, education, government, and law, the foundation has also been concerned with the possibilities of increased use of social-science techniques in the practicing professions

Schiff, Jacob Henry, 1847–1920, American banker and philanthropist, b. Frankfurt, Germany. He emigrated to the United States in 1865 and became a partner in a brokerage house in New York City. At the age of 38 he was head of the banking house of Kuhn, Loeb and Company. Schiff became associated with E. H. Harriman in notable contests with the house of Morgan for control of Western railroads. His numerous philanthropies included the endowment of the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Montefiore Home, both in New York, and a museum at Harvard. See biographies by C. Adler (1928) and N. W. Cohen (1999).

Soros, George (sôrˈōs) [key], 1930–, American stock trader and philanthropist, b. Budapest, Hungary, as George Schwartz. He studied under Sir Karl Popper at the London School of Economics (grad. 1952). He emigrated from Hungary to Great Britain (1947) and then to the United States (1956). Soros mostly worked as a financial analyst, and in 1969 he founded the first of his offshore hedge funds. His Quantum funds grew in value tremendously, partly through speculation in foreign currency. He earned (1992) billion on the fall of the British pound and notoriety as “the man who broke the Bank of England.” In the late 1990s, financial analysts and government officials charged that this speculation had helped destabilize Asian and Latin American national economies. His reputation for financial acumen was tarnished somewhat, however, when the value of the funds fell 20% in early 2000.

As president of the Soros Management Fund, he has used his wealth to create a network of wealthy foundations, many of which are intended to aid former Communist countries in creating the kind of anti-Marxist “open society” advocated by Popper. Others fund health initiatives and aid immigrants in the United States. He also established (1991) the Central European Univ., based in Budapest. In the United States, he has funded political campaigns, most notably by organizations opposed to President George W. Bush. Soros has written several books, including Opening the Soviet System (1990; rev. ed. 1991), The Alchemy of Finance (1994), The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998),Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism (2000), and The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power (2003).See his autobiography Soros on Soros (with B. Wien and K. Koenen, 1995); biographies by R. Slater (1995) and M. T. Kaufman (2002).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.”

We would like also to praise for all the unknown philanthropists. If you believe your name should be included, let us know.


One response to “Who are very good philanthropists? Bankers!

  1. Pingback: 10 Stunning Facts About Billionaires | Alpha Banker·

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