NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Pennant Capital Management
FUNDING AREAS: Education, animal welfare, veterans
OVERVIEW: Alan Fournier is a major supporter of education reform, particularly in New Jersey, where he and David Tepper started a political action committee, Better Education for New Jersey Kids. He also serves on the board of a network of charter schools in Newark. Additionally, he gives a lot to those with disabilities, and to animal welfare organizations.
BACKGROUND: Alan Fournier attended the Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he graduated with a B.S. in engineering in 1983. By 1988, he had decided to shift career paths, and began his investment career at Sanford C. Bernstein, where he made partner in just two years. From 1996 to 2000, he was in charge of global equity investments at Appaloosa Management, where he met David Tepper, who has been influential in Fournier's philanthropy as well as his career. In 2001, Fournier formed his own hedge fund, Pennant Capital Management, which now manages $6 billion in assets. He hasn't made the Forbes billionaires list yet, but given the size of Pennant's investment portfolio, it would be surprising if his personal wealth didn't reach $1 billion soon, if it hasn't already.
EDUCATION: Education is by far Fournier's biggest cause; he's given at least a million dollars to his alma mater, as well as to TEAM Schools, a group of charter schools in Newark, N.J., where he is on the board of trustees. Teach for America has also been a major recipient, with its N.Y. and N.J. branches receiving a combined total of half a million in 2012. Far Hills Country Day, where the Fourniers presumably send one or more of their children, has also received substantial funding, as has the University of Florida Foundation, and smaller donations have been made to the Tri-County Scholarship Fund, NJ Seeds, and several other organizations that provide education and enrichment programs. Fournier is also an education reform advocate, and along with his friend and colleague David Tepper, has created the political action committee Better Education for New Jersey Kids. Together, the two men also gave $3 million in 2014 to help set up an institute in Jersey City that will train principals for the district's public schools.
VETERANS & DISABILITY: On Fournier's bio on the Better Education for New Jersey Kids website, he lists the Wounded Warrior Project as a cause he supports, though there's no record of his family foundation contributing to the organization for the last three years (so the gifts may have been made directly.) His foundation has contributed, however, to the Troops First Foundation, The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, Disabled Sports USA, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and the New Jersey Special Olympics.
HEALTH: The Fourniers' giving in health thus far has been limited to small donations. The largest of these tend to go to hospitals in their community, but still tend to be under $10,000. They have also donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Lisa Heart Kids Cancer Research Fund, and in 2010, gave a whopping $385 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Surprisingly, their largest donation in this area was to the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti, for $50,000.
ANIMAL WELFARE: A fairly substantial chunk of the Fourniers' giving goes to animal welfare, though it is primarily directed at two different organizations. The Humane Society of the U.S. has received contributions totalling somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000, and the Humane Society chapter in their local community has received substantial contributions as well.
DISASTER RELIEF: The Fourniers gave $250,000 for Hurricane Sandy Relief in 2012, as well as $100,000 to their local branch of the Red Cross. Though this might be considered more community giving than disaster relief, the donation to the Albert Schweitzer Hospital suggests that they may be interested in disaster relief more broadly.
COMMUNITY GIVING: In addition to much of their health, education, disaster relief, and animal welfare giving remaining local, the local Boys and Girls Club, food banks, the police department, and the Family Reach Foundation have also seen contributions.
LOOKING FORWARD: Fournier's Family Foundation appears to be ramping up slowly. Granted, this increase can be largely accounted for by a few major gifts, like the $1 million he gave his alma mater, or the half million he gave Teach for America. He's still relatively young, too, and will likely be focused on his job at Pennant for the foreseeable future, but sooner or later he's got to start giving away his fortune in more substantial chunks.
Fournier Family Foundation
c/o Pennant Capital Management
1 Deforest Avenue No. 200
Summit, NJ 07901