Daniel Loeb Has A Passion for the Arts, But Where is His Philanthropy Headed?

53-year old hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb is still quite young but the Loeb Family-Third Point Foundation that he runs with his wife, Margaret, has been active for more than a decade. 

Loeb's hedge fund Third Point, manages $17.5 billion and his activist investing tactics, while controversial, have made him hugely successful. Some of Loeb's money goes to satisfying his penchant for art. The couple frequently appears on ArtsNews top 200 art collectors list and the walls of Loeb's Park Avenue office are "covered with paintings," according to a New York Times article.

For Loeb, the seeds were planted when he was an undergraduate at Columbia University and he saw a Poussin painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a humanities class. These days, Loeb apparently even has his own curator. Not bad.

Loeb's philanthropy can best be described as still being in its formative stages. On the one hand, Loeb is on quite a few boards. He's a trustee of Mt. Sinai Hospital and the Manhattan Institute. Across the country in Los Angeles, he's a trustee at Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA). On the other, large streams of money are yet to come out of the foundation towards art.

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 have all received modest sums. Grants have rarely exceeded $10,000 annually to any of these New York City arts institutions. The Museum of Contemporary Art on Bowery Street did receive almost $200,000 in 2013, however.

SoHo's Drawing Center, which hosts exhibitions as well as runs an arts education program that is free for K-12 public schoolers, has received around $4,000 annually over the last couple of years. The foundation's support for Drawing Center is in line with another interest of the foundation education. Loeb is the chairman of Success Academies Charter in Brooklyn and has an endowed scholarship at his alma mater Columbia. Margaret meanwhile has a social work background. 

At the end of 2013, the foundation had nearly $40 million in assets and gave away around $10 million. Right now the young Loeb is still very much focused on his business. But the fact that he and is wife are passionate about the arts means that bigger money could start streaming out of the foundation in the future.