Selwyn Donald Sussman|
June 8, 1946
Miami, Florida, United States
Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
North Haven, Maine
|Education||B.S. and M.B.A. New York University|
|Alma mater||Columbia College|
Laurie M. Tisch (divorced)|
Chellie Pingree (divorced)
Carolyn Tisch Sussman|
Emily Tisch Sussman
Beatrice Zimmerman Sussman|
Selwyn Donald Sussman (born June 8, 1946) is an American financier and philanthropist. He is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of the Paloma Funds and the founder of New China Capital Management LLC. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall, a member of the Board of Directors of ProPublica, and an Honorary Trustee of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School.
Early life and education
Sussman was born to a Jewish family in June 1946, the son of Beatrice (née Zimmerman) and William Sussman. His father was a real estate developer. He was raised in Miami, Florida and attended the Windsor Mountain School, a boarding high school located in Lenox, Massachusetts. After high school, he attended Columbia College and then went to New York University where he earned a B.S. and an M.B.A. He received honorary degrees from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and the Maine College of Art.
Sussman's career in finance began in 1958, when, at the age of 12, he made a 6x return on a $300 investment in the stock of Michigan Sugar, by correctly predicting that the Cuban Revolution would disrupt sugar supplies and drive up the price of sugar commodities. After school, he served as vice president and chief financial officer of the Titan Industrial Corporation and then as a partner in the New York law firm of Gelberg & Abrams. In 1981, he founded Paloma Partners, a Connecticut-based hedge fund with over $3 billion in assets under management. Paloma’s middle and back-office operations were acquired by JPMorgan Worldwide Securities Services in February 2006 for an undisclosed sum.
Following the sale to JPMorgan, Sussman has acted as a serial investor and backer of new hedge funds such as Naseem Taleb's Empirica Capital and David Shaw's D.E. Shaw & Co. In 2013, Paloma Partners agreed to back Rhodium Capital. Rhodium Capital, based in London, is a long-short European credit fund founded by Ifftikhar Ali and Jeffrey Tirman. Sussman continues to run Paloma Partners and is also the Chairman of Trust Asset Management.
He has donated US$11 million to Priorities USA Action, a Super PAC supporting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Paloma Partners was the single largest supporter of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with contributions totaling $21,613,800.
In 1994, Donald Sussman purchased his first Maine home in Deer Isle. In 2008, Sussman purchased Turner Farm, a historic farm located on the island of North Haven, ME, 12 miles off shore in Penobscot Bay. The history of Turner Farm dates back to the 1780s and under Sussman’s ownership, the property has been returned to a working farm producing organic vegetables, flowers, poultry, beef, pork and cheese. Sussman and Chellie Pingree reside on the farm. It is their primary residence in Maine.
In 2012, Maine Values LLC, a company owned by Sussman, invested approximately $3.3 million in MaineToday Media in order to provide the Maine newspaper company with much needed working capital. MaineToday Media is the owner of the Kennebec Journal, the Morning Sentinel and the Coastal Journal, the Portland Press Herald and several digital media properties. The investment, originally made as a loan, was restructured as a purchase of equity and resulted in Maine Values owning 75% of MaineToday Media. In 2015, Sussman sold MaineToday to Reade Brower, a Maine printer and newspaper owner.
Sussman has made substantial donations to educational, charitable, community, and political organizations. Sussman donated $22.8M to the 2016 failed campaign of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. Since 1992, Sussman has donated in excess of $7M to numerous political candidates and grassroots organizations. Sussman stated in an interview in 2011 that, “My political donations are a very small part of my philanthropy and I consider my political donations to be philanthropy because I do not have an agenda.”
During October 1997 it was announced that Sussman had donated $1M to Blue Hill Memorial Hospital to construct an outpatient building. The building was later named “Sussman Medical Office Center".
In 2010, after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Sussman donated the use of his private jet to transport medical supplies to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Also in 2010, the same aircraft was used to transport a dying man back to Maine. On June 3, 2010 it was announced that Sussman had donated a new 7000 sq ft facility to the Penobscot East Resource Center (PERC) to promote sustainable fisheries in Maine. On Oct 31, 2010, Skidmore College, a private liberal arts college located in Saratoga Springs, NY, announced that Sussman had committed a $12M gift to the school. The donation was part of a larger $200M effort to build Co-Ed housing. Sussman has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Skidmore College until 2012 and continues to serve on the Skidmore College Investment Committee.
In 2012, friends and colleagues of Donald Sussman established the S. Donald Sussman Award at the MIT Sloan School of Management in honor of his lifelong contribution to quantitative finance. This award is presented to individuals or groups who exhibit innovation and excellence in quantitative investment strategies and models. In 2012, Sussman made a $12 million donation for the redevelopment of student housing at Skidmore College. After redevelopment, the student housing was renamed 'Sussman Village' and was completed in 2013. It is scheduled to accept students in October 2013. In 2013, Sussman donated $1 million to Pen Bay Healthcare to help complete its new Hospice House, construction of which had already begun on the northern edge of the 64-acre Pen Bay Medical Center campus in Rockport. The Hospice House will be named in honor of Sussman’s grandmother, Ida Sussman. Construction is estimated to be completed in July 2014.
- Carolyn Tisch Sussman received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School. In 2012, she married William Blodgett in a Jewish ceremony in Greenwich, Connecticut.
- Emily Tisch Sussman graduated from Skidmore College in 2004 and later received her JD from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In 2012, Cardozo awarded her the Gates Award for her efforts to eliminate DADT. In 2015, she married Kevin James Craw at the Four Freedoms Park at Roosevelt Island, New York. Senator Cory Booker became a minister of the American Fellowship Church for the occasion and officiated the ceremony.
On June 18, 2011, Sussman was remarried to Chellie Pingree, a Democratic U.S. representative from Maine, in a private ceremony on Turner Farm. On September 8, 2015, Pingree announced an "amicable and truly mutual decision" to separate from Sussman and begin divorce proceedings. The divorce was finalized in the summer of 2016.
- 2004 Alternative Investment News – Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2010 Spurwink Humanitarian of the year
- 2011 Colby College - The Maine Philanthropy Award
- 2013 Institutional Investor’s Alpha Hedge Fund Hall of Fame 
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...S. Donald Sussman of Fort Lauderdale, Fla...
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