Howard and Nancy Marks

NET WORTH: $1.99 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Oaktree Capital Management 

FUNDING AREAS: Education

OVERVIEW: Marks and his wife do much of their philanthropy by serving on non-profit boards. Presumably this gives them some say in how these non-profits spend the money they donate. While Nancy concentrates on the arts, Marks has been most interested in providing his expertise in investing 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 Chicago’s business school before working at Citibank and TCW, eventually leaving to found Oaktree Capital Management in 1995. He’s 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 support 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, have more 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 written several books, the proceeds from which he has donated to the Writing Center. Howard's wife, Nancy, serves on the board of KIPP LA.

HEALTH: Marks has been 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’s 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 hasn't ramped up 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.