Kenneth and Julie Taffet Moelis

NET WORTH: $1 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Moelis & Company, Founder and CEO

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Health, Jewish causes.

OVERVIEW: Kenneth Moelis and his wife Julie conduct their philanthropy through the Ken and Julie Moelis Foundation. The couple's largest gifts have gone to their mutual alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. The rest of their funding tends to center on Los Angeles and New York City. Moelis serves on the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees.

BACKGROUND: Kenneth Moelis holds an undergraduate degree and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and began his investment banking career in 1981 at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Moelis was later head of corporate finance and co-head of the Los Angeles office of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He was president of UBS Investment Bank before founding Moelis & Company, a global investment bank with a Los Angeles office. 

ISSUES

EDUCATION & YOUTH: The Moelis Family has strong ties to University of Pennsylvania. Not only did Moelis and Julie attend the school, but so did the couple's sons, and Moelis's parents and brother. In 2008, he gave a $5 million gift to the Wharton Sports Business Initiative (WSBI). Penn received nearly $700,000 from the foundation in 2013, and nearly $850,000 the year before. In the spring of 2017, Moelis and Julie gave $10 million to UPenn to establish the Ken Moelis and Julie Taffet Moelis Advance Access Program, a "deferred admission opportunity that will provide a pathway to a Wharton MBA for highly-qualified Penn undergraduates whose academic and career interests expand traditional notions of business education." Other, much more modest support has gone to Brandeis University, Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, New York University (Julie's graduate school), and UCLA Foundation. Support has also gone to KIPP LA Schools, Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program, and The Painted Turtle, a camp program for children suffering from serious illnesses

HEALTH: Julie Moelis sits on the board of the Tourette Association of America. Recent gifts have gone to Cedars-Sinai, Susan G. Komen, and Melanoma Research Foundation. While the couple has funded hospitals and major diseases like cancer, their grantmaking has also supported a number of other health causes. Recently, for instance, they have supported the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), Rett Syndrome Research Trust, and CureDuchenne, which addresses a severe form of muscular dystrophy.

JEWISH CAUSES: Grantees have included Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Temple Emanuel Beverly Hills.

OTHER: The couple has supported the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine with modest funds. Grants have also gone to American Ballet Theatre and National Dance Institute, though arts do not seem to be a major focus.

LOOKING FORWARD: Only in his 50s, Moelis is still very much engaged in business, but could increase his giving down the line, particularly in Los Angeles and on the East Coast.

CONTACT:

The Ken and Julie Moelis Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for contact, but below is an address: 

The Ken and Julie Moelis Foundation

10866 Wilshire Blvd., 10th Fl.

Los Angeles, CA 90024

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