Trailblazer: A Wall Street Winner Supports LGBT Causes and More

When one thinks of major LGBT businessmen and philanthropists, names like Tim Gill and David Bohnett might come to mind.  Both technology moguls began their gay activism early and steer active and rather public foundations.

Related: Gill Foundation Grants for LGBT

Related: David Bohnett Foundation Grants for LGBT

Then there’s David A. Dechman. Armed with degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Harvard Business School, Dechman joined Goldman Sachs in the late 1980s and made partner in 1998. He held a 0.20 percent stake in the investment banking giant before its IPO and went on to found Summit Rock Advisors.

While Gill and Bohnett reached rarefied air in tech, Dechman was actually the first openly gay partner of Goldman Sachs and the most senior openly gay person on Wall Street at the time. Unsurprisingly, the Wall Street veteran’s low-profile David A. Dechman Foundation reflects an interest in LGBT causes in its grantmaking.

In a recent year, the foundation gave a little over $1.6 million and Dechman, via the charity, has supported places like the Gill Foundation and the Purpose Foundation, which tackles "prejudice and discrimination against members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.”

Dechman and his longtime partner Michael Mercure were also among very first major supporters of GLSEN, an organization that champions LGBTQ issues in K-12 education, and they continue to support it.

Away from this work, Dechman is also an avid photography collector, once listed on ARTnews magazine’s ranking of the world's Top 10 Photography Collectors. Dechman steadily supports MoMA, where he's a trustee and chairman of the photography acquisitions committee.

Other arts grantees have included Morgan Library and Museum, Aspen Art Museum, Anthology Film Archives, Museum of the City of New York, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, New York Live Arts, and Park Avenue Armory. Dechman’s grantmaking also supports select health, education, and youth organizations. For a full overview of his giving, read our Wall Street Profile linked below.

Profile: David A. Dechman