Jonathan Soros

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Jonathan Soros
Born Jonathan Tivadar Soros
(1970-09-10) September 10, 1970 (age 47)
Nationality American
Alma mater
Occupation Investment fund manager
Spouse(s) Jennifer Allan (m. 1997)
Family

Jonathan Tivadar Soros (born September 10, 1970) is the founder and chief executive officer of JS Capital Management LLC, a private investment firm.[1][2] Prior to that, Soros worked at Soros Fund Management in daily operations and was co-deputy chairman of the organization.

He has been a prominent donor to Democratic and progressive political causes.[3][4] He started the Friends of Democracy PAC, now merged into Every Voice, to push for campaign finance reform. He supports the elimination of the electoral college, and multiple matching of small donor donations to inspire citizen participation.

Early life and education[edit]

Soros' parents are Annaliese Witschak and business magnate George Soros,[5][6] who divorced in 1981. He is the brother of Andrea and Robert Soros and half-brother of Gregory and Alexander, from his father's second marriage to Susan Weber.[6]

He graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1992.[7][8] He received a Master of Arts in public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.[9]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Soros worked for a federal judge as a law clerk before joining Soros Fund Management.[10]

Soros Fund[edit]

Soros worked at Soros Fund Management beginning in 2002[11] and in 2004, he and his brother, Robert, became co-deputy chairmen of the organization[7] that managed $12.8 billion in funds at that time.[9] Their father stepped down at that time, but remained as chairman.[7]

He focused on operations[9] and was the organization's chief investment officer until he stepped down in 2011. His father said that Jonathan was "the principal architect of our transition to a healthy and stable investment operation" out of a turbulent financial period.[11] However, that year, the organization had incurred "significant losses" and had converted to a family office—managing the funds of George, his foundation, and Soros family members— and no longer operating as a hedge fund. In the process, its investors received $1 billion from the fund. Reuters states that the move was made to avoid a deadline to register at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment manager. Jonathan remained on the board of his father's foundation.[10]

JS Financial[edit]

Soros is the founder and chief executive officer of JS Capital Management LLC, a private investment firm,[1][2] located in midtown Manhattan near Central Park.[3] The second quarter 2015 filings showed that the U.S. assets in its portfolio were valued at $500 million, up from $394.76 million the previous quarter.[2][a] In 2015, Bloomberg Politics identified him as one of the hedge fund titans.[14]

Political advocacy[edit]

Campaign reform[edit]

He advocates for the removal of the electoral college, which he says is undemocratic and unconstitutional. This is the position of the Every Voice political advocacy group and the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact that advocates for electoral votes to be given to each state based upon certified results of the popular vote.[15]

Imagine for a moment that you hail from one of the most famous families in international finance. Your father is worth $20 billion. And on account of his largesse, your last name is as synonymous with Democratic politics as Roosevelt or Kennedy. Seeking your generosity, candidates come to you, hat in hand. Your concerns, they tell you, will be their concerns—so long as you contribute at their next fundraiser. And then, in your early 40s, you decide that this whole system is messed up. That it is you, and people like you, the rarest of the one percenters, who have warped our politics.

—David Freedlander [3]

In July 2012, Soros started and funded Friends of Democracy PAC (now merged into Every Voice), a hybrid political action committee and super PAC designed to push for campaign finance reform that would mandate a public financing system for all federal elections. Soros' organization was described as an "anti-super PAC super PAC" by The Washington Post. Founded with Ilyse Hogue,[b] formerly with Media Matters for America and MoveOn.org, and David Donnelly, executive director of the Public Campaign Action Fund, the goal of the organization is to elect candidates that support campaign reform, including public matching funds for elections.[17]

Its strategy is to identify 10 to 15 districts where incumbent senators or congressmen have not supported "citizen-led" elections, and use multiple forms of media—like television ads, direct mail, phone calls, internet ads—to communicate the lawmaker's position on campaign funding.[3][18][19] For instance, Soros, the organization's largest contributor,[20] helped fund the 2012 election of Cecilia Tkaczyk, who supports changes to funding for state elections by implementing a system of public financing. She won by a small margin, in a district that historically elected Republicans.[21]

By 2014, he gave $2 million over a few years to support initiatives and candidates,[3] and a total of $3.7 million was spent by Soros for Democratic candidates by October of that year.[22] Seven of the eight candidates that the PAC chose to back were elected in 2014.[3][23] He is a member of Democracy Alliance, an organization that funds Democratic campaigns.[24] The American Prospect said of him, "Jonathan Soros has emerged in recent years as a savvy donor and operative, much more hands-on than his father, George, the billionaire investor and Democratic donor."[23]

He backed two state legislative initiatives in 2016 to reform campaign financing, one on the state of Washington and the other in South Dakota. Washington Initiative 1464 would have provided $150 for each voter to contributor towards a candidate of their choice and limited contributions by government contractors and lobbyists. It did not pass. However, South Dakota's Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act was successful.[25]

Other groups[edit]

Soros has worked with MoveOn.org and other political advocacy groups. He is a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and a member of the board of directors of the New America Foundation and the Open Society Foundations.[26] He is a donor to the Democracy Alliance.[27]

He supports the New York Leadership for Accountable Government, formed about 2012.[28] By March 2013, he supported small donor democracy, in which small-dollar campaign contributions are multiple-matched to increase participation by citizens and donor diversity.[29][c]

He contributed to Hillary Clinton[14] and Martin O'Malley's presidential campaigns in 2015.[30] In 2016, he donated $1 million to the Planned Parenthood Super PAC, which supported the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Soros married Jennifer Allan, who was a social worker when they met in 1997. The two first met while working for the 1992 Clinton-Gore presidential campaign.[5] Beginning in 2000, the couple lived in a townhouse in the West Village of Manhattan.[32]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In 2015, it invested in Yepme.com, run by VAS Data Services. According to the Registrar of Companies (RoC), it and TCS Capital invested 30 crore (US$4.5 million) in the online fashion retailer, largely mens wear.[12] It invested in HRG Group, and sold 1.18 million shares in the third quarter of 2016, which reduced its stake in the company by 60%. By the end of that quarter, it held 774,582 shares, valued at $12.16M.[13]
  2. ^ In 2016, Hogue has been identified as a contender to head the Democratic National Committee. Soros said that "she has a clear sense of what she's after in terms of progressive outcomes" and noted the importance of the party having clear objectives in the years following the 2016 presidential election, which may see the removal of existing liberal legislation that "could take years, decades to rebuild."[16]
  3. ^ He spoke at a small donor democracy event hosted by Committee for Economic Development (CED), League of Women Voters, Americans for Campaign Reform, NY LEAD, and the Brennan Center for Justice that month.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ross, Brian; Matthew Mosk; Megan Chuchmach (April 3, 2014). "Soros Son: Fighting Fire With Fire in Billionaire Battle for 2016". ABC News. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Analyzing Jonathan Soros's JS Capital Management Equity Holdings In Q2 2015". Jewish Business News. August 21, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Freedlander, David (March 27, 2014). "The PAC to End All PACs". Politico. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Baker, Peter (November 2, 2015). "Obama Chides Republican Field, Saying CNBC Is No Putin". New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Jonathan Soros and Jennifer Allan". The New York Times. 17 August 1997. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "George Soros Fast Facts". CNN. July 25, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c "Soros Passing Torch To 2 Sons". New York Post. 6 October 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "At Wesleyan, A Plan To Draw More Veterans". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 22 January 2016. The amount of the gift by Frank Sica, a 1973 graduate of the university, and Jonathan Soros, son of billionaire philanthropist George Soros and a 1992 Wesleyan graduate, was not disclosed, though it was described in a university press release as "substantial." 
  9. ^ a b c Atlas, Riva (October 6, 2004). "2 Soros Sons Get More Control of the Business". New York Times. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Jennifer Ablan; Matthew Goldstein (April 1, 2012). "Exclusive: Soros' son strikes out on his own". New York. Reuters. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Soros Family Office Names a New Chief Investment Officer". The New York Times. September 19, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Online Retailer Yepme Receives Close to Rs80 Crore in Fresh Funds". Mint. India. January 9, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2016 – via HighBeam Research. Was published by HT Syndication with Mint's permission. 
  13. ^ Ellis Scott (December 22, 2016). "SEC Watch Reporter: Hrg Group INC (HRG) Shareholder Js Capital Management LLC Has Decreased Position". Chester Independent. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Saijel Kishan; Rebecca Spalding (July 17, 2015). "Hedge Fund Titans Choosing Hillary Clinton Over Top Republicans". Bloomberg Politics. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  15. ^ Wolverton, Joe (September 19, 2011). "What's Wrong with the NPV? Eight States Have Passed Legislation to Effectively Eliminate the Electoral College in Favor of a National Popular Vote (NPV) for President, but Why Is That Bad?". The New American. Retrieved December 21, 2016 – via HIghBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor (November 17, 2016). "Keith Ellison May Have A Radical Challenger For DNC Chair — Who Backed Hillary Clinton". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  17. ^ Eggen, Dan (July 12, 2012). "Son of liberal financier George Soros launches anti-super PAC super PAC". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  18. ^ Michael D. Shear (July 17, 2012). "The Super PAC That Aims to End Super PACs". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  19. ^ Thomas Kaplan (February 23, 2014). "Ad Campaign Seeks to Increase Chances of Cuomo's Campaign Finance Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  20. ^ Thomas Kaplan (October 30, 2014). "Outside Donors Focus More Attention on New York State Senate Races". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  21. ^ Thomas Kaplan (January 19, 2013). "Democrat Ekes Out Senate Win". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  22. ^ "George Soros' Son Raising Funds To Unseat Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts". Jewish Business News. October 14, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  23. ^ a b Andy Kroll (July 1, 2014). "Democratic Sugar-Daddy Dossier". The American Prospect. Retrieved December 30, 2016 – via HighBeam Research. 
  24. ^ "Roberts Campaign: New Orman Campaign Video 'A Sham'". States News Service. October 13, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2016 – via HighBeam Research. 
  25. ^ John Ryan (November 29, 2016). "The anti-corruption measure that big money couldn't pass". KUOW. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Jonathan Soros Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow". Roosevelt Institute. Archived from the original on April 13, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  27. ^ Kenneth Vogel (April 24, 2014). "The left's secret club plans for 2014, 2016". Politico. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  28. ^ Josh Nathan-Kazis (April 23, 2012). "George Soros Next Generation Steps Up". Forward. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  29. ^ a b "New Ced Report: Promoting Small Donor Democracy: The Value of Public Matching Programs in NYC". States News Service. March 8, 2013 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  30. ^ Greg Giroux (October 15, 2015). "Martin O'Malley Raised $1.3 Million in Q3, Has $806K Cash: FEC". Bloomberg Politics. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  31. ^ Dave Levinthal (April 7, 2016). "Inside Hillary Clinton's Big Money Cavalry". NBC News. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Jon Stewart Inks $4 Million Deal. (Property) - Soros Takes Townhouse Off Market". The New York Observer. October 31, 2005. Retrieved December 30, 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 

Further reading[edit]