Leon G. Cooperman
|Leon G. Cooperman|
|Born||April 25, 1943|
|Residence||Short Hills, New Jersey, US|
|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||US$3.2 billion (March 2016)|
Early life and education
Cooperman was born to a Jewish family in the South Bronx, New York City. the son of immigrants 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 quality control engineer at Xerox in 1965. Cooperman later received his MBA from Columbia Business School, graduating in 1967.
Directly after graduating from Columbia, Cooperman joined Goldman Sachs. He 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. 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 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. As a designated Chartered Financial Analyst, he is a senior member and past president of the New York Society of Security Analysts and 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". 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).
In 2012, Cooperman was included in the 50 Most Influential list of Bloomberg Markets magazine. Forbes listed him as one of the 40 Highest-Earning hedge fund managers in 2013, and the next year it listed him among the top 25.
With his wife Toby, he has two sons Wayne and Michael and three grandchildren.
Cooperman has been ranked many times for his wealth by Forbes Magazine.
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.
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.”
- New Jersey Jewish News: "Family’s $5 million gift is devoted to continuity - Cooperman Fund will help Birthright, camps, and teen philanthropy" by Johanna Ginsberg February 10, 2010
- Forbes: The World's Billionaires - Leon G. Cooperman March 2016
- "Forbes profile: Leon G. Cooperman". Forbes.com.
- "Hedge Fund - Omega Advisors". Insider Monkey. March 31, 2014.
- "Company Overview of Omega Advisors, Inc.". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Leon's Open Letter. International Business Daily. Nov 30, 2011.
- Jospesh Palermo's column. The Huffington Post. Dec 7, 2011.
- Robert S. Dieterich (September 4, 2012). "Most Influential 50 in 2012 Shows Turmoil: Bloomberg Markets". Bloomberg Markets.
- Vardi, Nathan (Feb 26, 2013), "The 40 Highest-Earning Hedge Fund Managers & Traders 2013", Forbes
- Vardi, Nathan (Feb 26, 2014), "The 25 Highest-Earning Hedge Fund Managers And Traders", Forbes
- "Zuckerberg and Icahn Join Buffett and Gates on Giving Pledge List". The New York Times. December 9, 2010.
- Karen Paff (April 23, 2012). "Leon Cooperman Gives School $25 Million for Manhattanville Campus". Columbia Business School.
- Ziegler, Maseena (1 December 2012). "When Quitting Is Not An Option - How You Can Find Purpose And Fulfillment Through Your Career". Forbes. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
- "Saint Barnabas Medical Center receives largest donation in its history". NJBiz. April 8, 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2015.