Howard and Nancy Marks

NET WORTH: $1.99 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Oaktree Capital Management 

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health, arts & culture

OVERVIEW: Howard Marks and his wife do much of their philanthropy by serving on non-profit boards. While Nancy concentrates on the arts, Marks has been providing his investing expertise to help non-profits with substantial assets generate more wealth, which enables them to give more away. Marks has provided significant support to his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.

BACKGROUND: Marks graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business before working at Citibank and TCW, eventually leaving to found Oaktree Capital Management in 1995. He is known in the investment community for his Oaktree memos, notes to clients that detail investment strategies and insight into the economy, and he has written several books on investing.

ISSUES: 

EDUCATION: Marks has been a longtime supporter of his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. In 1992, he created the Howard S. Marks Terms Scholarship, providing renewable scholarships to undergraduates at all four schools of the university. From 2001 to 2010 he chaired the Penn Endowment. In 2003, he and his wife Nancy made a major gift to endow the Marks Family Writing Center, recently endowed the Howard Marks University Professorship in behavioral finance and the Howard Marks Investor Speaker Series at Wharton, and just this year made a $3 million gift to establish the Howard Marks Professorship in Economic History. Marks has also donated much of the proceeds from his books to the Writing Center. Howard's wife, Nancy, serves on the board of KIPP LA.

HEALTH: Marks is a trustee of the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. 

ARTS & CULTURE: Howard’s wife Nancy has served on the boards of MoCA, American Ballet Theatre, and the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation.

LOOKING FORWARD: It is almost surprising that Marks does not have his own foundation, or that he appears to have done virtually no newsworthy philanthropy other than his gifts to the University of Pennsylvania. Either Marks is extremely quiet about his donations, or his philanthropy has not taken off yet. He is in his early 70s, however, so it may not be too long before he thinks about retirement, and adding to his philanthropic legacy.