Another Goldman Vet Worth Knowing About: A Look at Richard Friedman's Giving

When Goldman Sachs went public in 1999, the firm's partners banked large sums of money. One of these partners was Richard Friedman, currently head of the merchant banking division at Goldman. According to Business Insider, Friedman owned a 0.9 percent stake worth about $148.5 million.

Not bad.

It's unclear how much Friedman is currently worth, but he and his wife, Susan, have long been involved in philanthropy and in 1991 established the Richard A. and Susan P. Friedman Foundation, which focuses primarily on education, hospitals, health associations, and Jewish causes and has a New York City focus. Unfortunately for grantseekers, the foundation has a minimal web presence, and provides no clear guidelines. In a recent fiscal year, the foundation held around $15 million in assets and gave away around $5.1 million. Grantmaking appears to be on the rise in recent years.

Friedman and Susan have strongly supported Friedman's alma mater, Brown University. In the a recent fiscal year, the couple through their foundation gave two grants totalling $2.5 million to Brown University. Last decade, the Friedmans gave $5 million to Brown to fund a 24-hour study center. Friedman is on the board of fellows at his alma mater.

The couple, through their foundation, have also supported education outfits such as Horace Mann School, University of Chicago (Friedman is a UChicago MBA), Comprehensive Development,  a "nonprofit organization that provides free academic, career readiness and social services to 3,500 New York City public high school students and alumni," and President & Fellows of Harvard College. The couple's son, Josh, is a Harvard graduate. The couple, through their foundation, have also supported youth. Past grantees include New Yorkers For Children, Girl Scouts of Greater New York, Boy Scouts of America, Harlem RBI, and Harlem Children's Zone.

The couple has also supported health causes. In fact, the Friedmans' largest grant to date has been in the realm of health. In 2010, Friedman and Susan pledged $20 million to Mount Sinai Medical Center to establish the Friedman Brain Institute. Friedman has sat on the board of trustees of Mt. Sinai. The couple was also influenced by their so,n Josh, who has an avid interest in neuroscience and is a medical student at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Other health grantees include Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York Presbyterian, Dubin Breast Center, Kettering Medical Center Foundation, and National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association of Delaware Valley. 

It's worth mentioning that Tay-Sachs disease, a rare inherited disorder that destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, has a Goldman Sachs connection. Bernard Sachs, a Mt. Sinai physician who contributed to the discovery of Tay-Sachs disease, was the brother of Goldman Sachs co-founder, Harry Sachs.

The Friedmans also earmark sums for Jewish causes. Past grantees include Park Avenue Synagogue, Central Synagogue, UJA - Federation of New York, Birthright Israel Foundation, and American Jewish Community. In human services, the couple has supported New York Needs You and the Robin Hood Foundation. Arts and culture doesn't seem to be a huge part of this couple's philanthropic profile currently, but they've modestly supported outfits such as MoMA and Manhattan Theatre Club.

For now, Friedman is still very much engaged in business, but perhaps the couple's philanthropy will ramp up down the line.

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