Leon G. Cooperman

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Leon G. Cooperman
Born (1943-04-25) April 25, 1943 (age 71)
Residence Short Hills, New Jersey
Ethnicity Jewish[1]
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Hunter College
Columbia University (M.B.A.)
Occupation Founder and Chairman/CEO of Omega Advisors
Known for Started Goldman Sachs' asset management arm
Net worth Increase US $ 2.5 billion (March 2013)[2]
Religion Judaism[1]
Spouse(s) Toby Cooperman
Children Wayne Cooperman
Michael Cooperman
Website
www.omega-advisors.com

Leon G. "Lee" Cooperman is an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is the Chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, Inc.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Cooperman was born April 25, 1943 in the South Bronx of New York City.[4] He was raised there by Jewish parents, who emigrated from Poland. Cooperman was the first in his family to earn a college degree. As an undergraduate at Hunter College, Cooperman joined and was an active member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi. After graduating, he became a Xerox quality control engineer in 1965.[2] Cooperman later received his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, graduating in 1967.

Career[edit]

Directly after graduating from Columbia, Cooperman joined Goldman Sachs. Cooperman spent his first twenty two years at Goldman in the Investment Research Department as Partner-in-charge, Co-Chairman of the Investment Policy Committee and Chairman of the Stock Selection Committee.[4] In 1989, he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and was Chief Investment Officer of the equity product line including managing the GS Capital Growth Fund, an open-end mutual fund, for one and one-half years.

At the end of 1991 after twenty five years of service, Cooperman retired from his positions as a General Partner of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs Asset Management at the end of 1991 in order to organize a private investment partnership, under the direction of Omega Advisors, Inc.

Cooperman is the Chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, Inc., a New York based investment advisory firm managing over $6 billion in assets.[5]

As a designated Chartered Financial Analyst, Cooperman is a senior member and past President of the New York Society of Security Analysts. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Saint Barnabas Development Foundation, a member of the Board of Overseers of the Columbia

For nine consecutive years, Cooperman was voted the number one portfolio strategist in the Institutional Investor All-America Research Team survey.

In November 2011 Cooperman gained attention for an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama in which among other things charged the president with engaging in "class warfare".[6] This letter has been characterized by Joseph Palermo of The Huffington Post as a rant bemoaning the mistreatment of billionaires by the president and his "minions" (Cooperman's word).[7]

In 2012 Cooperman was included in the 50 Most Influential list of Bloomberg Markets Magazine.[8]

In 2013 Forbes listed Mr. Cooperman as one of the 40 Highest-Earning hedge fund managers.[9]

In 2014 Forbes listed Mr. Cooperman as one of the 25 Highest-Earning hedge fund managers.[10]

Personal life[edit]

With his wife Toby, he has two sons Wayne and Michael and three grandchildren.[1]

Cooperman has been ranked many times for his wealth by Forbes Magazine.

Philanthropy[edit]

He and his wife Toby are signators of The Giving Pledge.[11] and manage the Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation.

Cooperman has a long history of supporting Columbia Business School. In 2011, he donated $25 million to support the expansion of the school's campus. In 2007, he created the Cooperman Scholarship Challenge, helping to create over 40 need based scholarships. In 2000, he established the Leon Cooperman Scholarship to support financial aid for need based students. In 1995, he endowed the Leon Cooperman Professorship of Finance and Economics.[12]

Cooperman was the first in the country to endow Birthright Israel, a program that sends Jews aged 18–26 on free short-term visits to Israel to promote Jewish identity. Cooperman states: "We are very proud of our religion, our heritage, the many accomplishments of the Jewish people, and the enormous contribution they make to society. But we are very concerned about the pace of assimilation and really the disappearance of the Jewish religion. Through intermarriage and rapid assimilation, we’re disappearing. We’re trying to make our effort to help either slow that down or reverse it.”[1]

He is also a founding Master Player of the Portfolios with Purpose virtual stock trading contest.[13]

References[edit]

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