Kenneth Lipper

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Kenneth Lipper is a prominent figure in the arts, the world of finance, and government. He served as New York City’s Deputy Mayor under Mayor Ed Koch.[1] Mr. Lipper was a General Partner at Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers, serving as the investment banker for some of the leading public corporations in the United States and Europe. He was Adjunct Professor at Columbia School of International Affairs in the field of international economics. Mr. Lipper serves as a director of corporations and government agencies.[2] He is Chairman of Lipper & Co, an investment bank and investment management company, and also serves as Chairman of the Board of Lippmann Enterprises LLC, a cosmetics company. In November 2010, after winning a civil class action, Lipper was awarded more than $15 million in indemnification, because as a New York State Supreme Court judge’s findings noted, "none of the investigations and claims asserted against [Lipper] had resulted in a finding that he had engaged in 'negligence, malfeasance or a violation of applicable law.'"[3] In 2013, Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated, and the New York State Senate confirmed, Kenneth Lipper as a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Port Authority’s governing body.[4] The Port Authority is a congressionally created bi-state agency which owns and operates JFK International, LaGuardia, and Newark International airports, the bridges and tunnels, PATH railroad, ports and terminals and the World Trade Center.[5] Mr. Lipper won an Academy Award in 1998 for producing the best feature-length documentary. He is author of the novels Wall Street and City Hall and wrote the original screenplay for the feature film "City Hall."[6] Mr. Lipper was Producer of the feature films: "City Hall", "The Winter Guest" and "The Last Days," as well as Chief Technical Adviser of "Wall Street."[6] He is the co-founder and co-publisher of Lipper Viking Penguin, a celebrated biography series which has published 24 books in multiple languages and countries.

Early life and Education[edit]

Born to a Jewish family,[7] Lipper earned his B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) at Columbia, his J.D. at Harvard Law School, his LL.M. at NYU and did postgraduate work in law and economics at the University of Paris.


Thereafter he was an associate with a Wall Street law firm for a year before serving as director of industry policy for the Office of Foreign Direct Investment in Washington, D.C.. He has been associate and partner of Lehman Brothers (1969–75) and managing director and partner at Salomon Brothers (1976–82) before being recruited by Mayor Ed Koch for his position as deputy mayor in charge of the budget, taxation, and economic development.[8]

In the late 1980s, Lipper founded the investment firm Lipper & Company, which managed more than $5 billion on behalf of institutions and high-net-worth individuals. The firm’s investment banking division advised on billions of dollars of mergers and acquisitions, and was ranked the 13th largest M&A firm in 1992.[9] Financial World Magazine ranked Lipper as the 40th highest earner on Wall Street for 1993 and 1994.[10]

He has taught at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs for many years[11] and serves on the school's advisory board. His proposals for investing in America's cities by developing and supporting the entrepreneurial class have gained wide public attention.[12] He is considered a balanced government reformist.[13]

From 2003 to 2006, Lipper served as Senior Executive Vice President at Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.[14]

On June 21, 2011, Lipper appeared at Bloomberg's High Yield Conference in West Hollywood, California, where he discussed his opinions about the stock and bond markets, and government debt.[15][16]

On December 7, 2011, Lipper appeared on Fox TV's "Good Day New York," where he discussed unemployment and economic development.[17]

On July 26, 2012, Lipper gave a speech to Group FMG, a global digital marketing organization, and spoke about a variety of issues from US budget and taxation policy to thoughts and forecasts of the European Fiscal Crisis.[18]

The arts[edit]

Lipper triumphed in the publishing world with the success of his novel Wall Street, adapted from Oliver Stone's award-winning film of the same name, in which Lipper himself served as technical advisor and had a brief cameo. His experience in government was the inspiration for another film, 1996's City Hall, starring Al Pacino, for which he served as producer and wrote the screenplay and novel. Lipper appeared on Charlie Rose, discussing his novel and movie "City Hall," in 1996.[19] Lipper was also producer of The Winter Guest, starring Emma Thompson, and the Holocaust documentary The Last Days, for which he won an Academy Award.


Lipper has endowed scholarships in the name of his mother, Sally Lipper, at Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, and Israel’s Weizmann Institute.[9]

In 1994, Lipper gifted $3.2 million to Harvard to establish a chair in Holocaust Studies. When Harvard refused to fill the position, Lipper transferred the money to Harvard Medical School.[20]

Personal life[edit]

in 2000, he divorced his wife, Dr. Evelyn Gruss,[21] the daughter of financier and philanthropist Joseph S. Gruss;[22] they have four daughters.[23]


Ken Lipper, Wall Street (1987)

Ken Lipper, City Hall (1996)

Ken Lipper, “Born in the Real World: The Two Wall Street Movies,” Wall Street: The Collector’s Edition (2010)[24]


  1. ^ Bruce Weber, "Into the Municipal Maelstorm," New York Times, 2/11/1996.
  2. ^ Robyn Griggs McCabe "Antigone, Wall Street, and City Hall", Columbia College Today, Winter 1992-1993.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b "A Conversation with Ken Lipper," Charlie Rose, 1/16/1996,
  7. ^ New York Magazine: "Blacks and Jews - How wide the rift?" By Michael Kramer February 4, 1985
  8. ^ Michael Goodwin, “A Banker is named to Expanded Post For City Finances,” New York Times, 11/2/1982.
  9. ^ a b Robyn Griggs McCabe, “Antigone, Wall Street, and City Hall”, Columbia College Today, Winter 1992-1993.
  10. ^ “What Wall Street’s 100 Highest Paid Earned Last Year,” Financial World, 7/6/1993.
  11. ^ Marilyn Wellemeyer, “Moonlighting in Academia," Fortune, 2/13/78.
  12. ^ Kenneth Lipper, “Entrepreneurs to the Rescue,” Newsweek, 5/25/1992.
  13. ^ Oscar-winning Financier trying to reform the Port Authority
  14. ^ Daniel Geiger, “Lipper Comeback Has Happy Ending,” Real Estate Weekly, 9/20/2006.
  15. ^ Lipper on Bloomberg High Yield Conference
  16. ^
  17. ^ Lipper on Fox TV
  18. ^ Speech to FMG Corp.pdf
  19. ^ “A Conversation with Ken Lipper,” Charlie Rose, 1/16/1996, Lipper on Charlie Rose
  20. ^ Smith, Dinitia (July 19, 1997). "Holocaust Studies Gift: A Headache for Harvard". The New York Times. 
  21. ^ The Observer: "Ex Marks Her Spot" By Blair Golson September 23, 2002
  22. ^ New York Times: "Joseph Gruss, 91, Philanthropist Who Supported Jewish Schools" By ERIC PACE July 5, 1993
  23. ^ Businessweek: "The Fallen Financier - Ken Lipper wanted to be a big wheel in Hollywood and New York. But he may be remembered most for the collapse of his hedge fund empire-and huge losses for the rich and famous" December 9, 2002
  24. ^

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