Hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb and his wife Margaret are quite active in New York civic life. They're prominent art collectors, serve on many boards in the city, and donate to a wide variety of causes. While their giving so far is only on the scale of a few million each year, they're still relatively young. Bigger hedge fund earnings no doubt lie ahead, along with bigger giving. This is an important couple to watch. Here are a few observations about their philanthropy:
1. The couple has wide interests
The Loebs have given to health, education, the arts, Jewish causes, and human rights issues. Health appears to be where the couple's largest sums have gone in recent years. Loeb is a trustee of the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, but the real picture of his contribution to health-related causes can be seen in the smaller donations the Loebs have made through their foundation.
They're deeply into reproductive health and Mt. Sinai OB/GYN, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood have all received funding. The couple is famous for their art collection, and they've given to the Met, the Museum of Contemporary Art on Bowery Street in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Lincoln Center of Performing Arts and the Guggenheim. Loeb also sits on the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles.
2. Their philanthropy is personal
Apart from having a passion for the arts, both Loeb and Margaret are deep into yoga. Loeb's passion sent him to India for a month where he even worked with a guru. Margaret, meanwhile, used to work as a yoga instructor. Unsurprisingly, outfits such as the Continuum Center for Health and Healing, which focuses on health and wellness through yoga and meditation, has received money recently. The couple has also supported Bent on Learning, an education advocacy outfit in New York that helps empower kids through yoga.
Education is also another major interest of the couple. Daniel Loeb chairs Success Academies Charter in Brooklyn and also co-founded and serves on the board of StudentsFirstNY. He has as an endowed scholarship at his alma mater, Columbia.
Oh, and Loeb claims he donated to a now top-performing charter school in the Bronx because of Ashtanga yoga.
3. The influence of Margaret Loeb
Margaret is a graduate of Fieldston Ethical Culture, where she currently serves as a trustee, and of NYU Social Work. In recent years, the couple has supported the Brady Center, which works for gun control, and Equality Now, which focuses on women's empowerment. Loeb and his wife have funded the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. LGBT rights group, as well.