Donald Sussman

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Donald Sussman
Picture of Donald Sussman
Selwyn Donald Sussman[1][2]

(1946-06-08) June 8, 1946 (age 73)
ResidenceFort Lauderdale, Florida, US[3][4]
North Haven, Maine, US
EducationColumbia College
New York University
Known forPhilanthropy
Spouse(s)Laurie M. Tisch (divorced)
Chellie Pingree (divorced)
Parent(s)Beatrice Zimmerman Sussman
William 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,[5] a member of the Board of Directors of ProPublica,[6] and an Honorary Trustee of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School.[7] His company Paloma Partners, was the largest contributor to the Clinton campaign.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Sussman was born to a Jewish family[9] in June[10] 1946, the son of Beatrice (née Zimmerman) and William Sussman.[11] His father was a real estate developer.[11] He was raised in Miami, Florida[12] and attended the Windsor Mountain School, a boarding high school located in Lenox, Massachusetts.[11] 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.[5] He received honorary degrees from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel,[5] and the Maine College of Art.[6]


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.[13][14] 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.[11] In 1981, he founded Paloma Partners, a Connecticut-based hedge fund with over $3 billion in assets under management.[15] Paloma's middle and back-office operations were acquired by JPMorgan Worldwide Securities Services in February 2006 for an undisclosed sum.[16][17]

Following the sale to JPMorgan, Sussman has acted as a serial investor and backer of new hedge funds such as Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Empirica Capital and David Shaw's D.E. Shaw & Co.[18][19] 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.[20] 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.[21] Paloma Partners was the single largest supporter of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with contributions totaling $21,613,800.[22]


In 1994, Donald Sussman purchased his first Maine home in Deer Isle.[23] In 2008, Sussman purchased Turner Farm, a historic farm located on the island of North Haven, ME, 12 miles off shore in Penobscot Bay.[24] 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.[25] Sussman and Chellie Pingree reside on the farm. It is their primary residence in Maine.[26]

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.[27][28] In 2015, Sussman sold MaineToday to Reade Brower, a Maine printer and newspaper owner.[29]


Sussman has made substantial donations to educational, charitable, community, and political organizations. Sussman donated $22.8M[30] to the 2016 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.[31][32] Sussman stated in an interview in 2011, “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.”[33]

During October 1997 it was announced that Sussman had donated $1M to Blue Hill Memorial Hospital to construct an outpatient building.[34] The building was later named “Sussman Medical Office Center".

In 2008 he was appointed to the board of trustees at the University of the Virgin Islands, and at this time made a pledge of $1,000,000 to the university.[35]

In 2010, after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Sussman donated the use of his private jet to transport medical supplies to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.[36] Also in 2010, the same aircraft was used to transport a dying man back to Maine.[37] 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.[38] 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.[39] 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.[40][41]

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.[42] 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.[43]

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 was named in honor of Sussman's grandmother, Ida Sussman. Construction was completed in July 2014.[44][45]

Personal life[edit]

In 1981, Sussman married Laurie M. Tisch, daughter of Preston Robert Tisch who was the co-owner of the New York Giants. In 1992, they divorced. They had two children:[46]

On June 18, 2011, Sussman was remarried to Chellie Pingree, a Democratic U.S. representative from Maine, in a private ceremony on Turner Farm.[50][51] On September 8, 2015, Pingree announced an "amicable and truly mutual decision" to separate from Sussman and begin divorce proceedings.[52] The divorce was finalized in the summer of 2016.[53]

In 2019, Sussman designed the first Eagle Class 53, a catamaran that is rigid-wing, sail-powered and hydro-foiled and he worked with Fast Forward Composites to build the cruiser.[54] He was inspired to create this new cruiser while watching the America's Cup. [55][56]


  • 2004 Alternative Investment News – Lifetime Achievement Award[57]
  • 2010 Spurwink Humanitarian of the year[51]
  • 2011 Colby College - The Maine Philanthropy Award[10]
  • 2013 Institutional Investor's Alpha Hedge Fund Hall of Fame [58][59]


  1. ^ "The top 10 Maine campaign donors in this year's elections include Sussman, Pingree, Stephen King". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Selwyn Donald Sussman". Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Money manager buys record $27.5 million home — although it's not his style - Sun Sentinel". Sun-Sentinel. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Emily Sussman and Kevin Craw". The New York Times. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2016. ...S. Donald Sussman of Fort Lauderdale, Fla...
  5. ^ a b c S. Donald Sussman. "S. Sussman: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  6. ^ a b "Board and Advisors - About Us - ProPublica". ProPublica. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  7. ^ "Board of Trustees - Ethical Culture Fieldston School". Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  8. ^ NW, The Center for Responsive Politics 1300 L. St; Washington, Suite 200; info, DC 20005 telelphone857-0044. "Top Contributors, federal election data for Hillary Clinton, 2016 cycle". OpenSecrets.
  9. ^ Times of Israel: "Jewish donors fill candidates’ war chests, especially Clinton’s" By Eric Cortellessa October 25, 2016
  10. ^ a b "Wealthy financier invests in Maine papers | The Morning Sentinel, Waterville, ME". 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  11. ^ a b c d New York Times: "S.D. Sussman Weds Miss Tisch" March 15, 1981
  12. ^ "Man in middle of Pingree dust-up seen as generous and unassuming | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  13. ^ "Hedged bets. (Paloma Partners, hedge fund) | HighBeam Business: Arrive Prepared". 1989-10-23. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  14. ^ "Paloma's Sussman forecasts growth for hedge fund industry". Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  15. ^ The New Investment Superstars: 13 Great Investors and Their Strategies for ... - Lois Peltz - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  16. ^ "JPMorgan Worldwide Securities Services to Acquire Paloma's Middle and Back Office Operations". J.P. Morgan. 2006-02-13. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  17. ^ Jewish Business News: "Donald Sussman Donates $1 Million Towards the Cost of Completing the Pen Bay Hospice Center" December 2, 2013
  18. ^ "D.E. Shaw & Company – Hedge Fund Letters". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  19. ^ Lubove, Seth. "Black Swan Manager Returning 23% Anticipating Bear Market". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  20. ^ "S. Donald Sussman's Paloma Partners Backs New Fund".
  21. ^ "Liberal billionaires bankroll Hillary Clinton's super PAC attack dog". Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Top Contributors, federal election data for Hillary Clinton, 2016 cycle". Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Donald Sussman". 2012-01-05. Archived from the original on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  24. ^ "The Turner Farm: Then and Now". Turner Farm. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  25. ^ "About Us". Turner Farm. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  26. ^ Maine Business Press (2011-03-15). "Donald Sussman to Deliver Opening Keynote at MANP Leadership Conference". Retrieved 2013-06-07.[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ The Associated Press (2012-02-10). "Chellie Pingree's husband gives boost to MaineToday Media — Business — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  28. ^ Wickenheiser, Matt (2012-03-27). "Sussman-owned group acquires 75 percent share of MaineToday Media — Business — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  29. ^ Fishell, Darren. "Press Herald papers purchased by midcoast businessman Reade Brower". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  30. ^ "Bloomberg - Are you a robot?". Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  31. ^ "Donald Sussman | Influence Explorer: Campaign Finance". Influence Explorer. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  32. ^ "Sussman, S. Donald: Donor Detail". OpenSecrets. 2013-03-25. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  33. ^ "Donald Sussman". 2012-01-05. Archived from the original on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  34. ^ "Blue Hill hospital gets $1 million gift". 1997-10-18. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  35. ^ "Sussman associates entangled in Virgin Islands bribery scandal". The Maine Wire. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  36. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2013-06-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ "Bill Nemitz: Plane truth is that Donald Sussman's private jet flew dying Mainer home | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  38. ^[permanent dead link]
  39. ^ a b "Skidmore College: News Details". Archived from the original on 2010-05-29. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  40. ^ "Skidmore College: S. Donald Sussman". 2010-07-08. Archived from the original on 2010-05-29. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  41. ^ "Board says farewell?and thanks?to seven trustees". Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  42. ^ "MIT Sloan Finance Group S. Donald Sussman Award". 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  43. ^ "Sussman Village opens ahead of schedule to positive reaction - News - The Skidmore News - Skidmore College". The Skidmore News. Archived from the original on 2013-09-29. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  44. ^ "Donald Sussman donates $1 million for Pen Bay Healthcare Hospice House". PenBay Pilot.
  45. ^ "Donald Sussman Donates $1 Million Towards The Cost of Completing The Pen Bay Hospice Center". Jewish Business News.
  46. ^ Gordon, Amanda (2012-02-06). "Super Bowl Scene: Giants Women Tackle Football in Tisches' Owners Box". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  47. ^ New York Times: "Carolyn Sussman and William Blodgett" June 17, 2012
  48. ^ "Former SLDN Attorney Receives Cardozo School of Law Alumni Award for DADT Repeal Work | Latest News | OutServe-SLDN". 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  49. ^ "Emily Sussman and Kevin Craw". The New York Times. May 31, 2015.
  50. ^ "Pingree, Sussman wed | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  51. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2013-06-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  52. ^ "Chellie Pingree, Donald Sussman to end their marriage". Bangor Daily News. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  53. ^ Villeneuve, Marina (2016-11-06). "Maine Democrats find help elsewhere after megadonor's exit". Press Herald. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  54. ^ World, Yachting (2019-08-06). "Eagle Class 53: The foiling cruiser inspired by the America's Cup". Yachting World. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  55. ^ Springer, Bill. "Influencer Interview: Financier/Philanthropist Donald Sussman Explains His New, Hyper Fast Wing-Sail-Powered Yacht". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  56. ^ "An interview with Tommy Gonzalez about the Eagle Class 53 foiling catamaran". Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  57. ^ "Alternative Investment News Announces Hedge Fund Industry Award Winners; Lone Pine Capital and HFR Asset Management Snag Awards; Sussman Honored. - Free Online Library". 2004-06-25. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  58. ^ "Sussman named to Hedge Fund Hall of Fame". Central Maine.
  59. ^ "Hedge Fund Hall of Fame - S. Donald Sussman".