NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Cowen Group
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Health, Jewish causes
OVERVIEW: Peter Cohen and family move their philanthropy through The Cohen Family Foundation, whose grantmaking largely focuses on the East Coast, particularly New York City. Education and arts are top interests. Grantmaking of late has been modest and many grants are under $1,000.
BACKGROUND: Peter A. Cohen received a B.S. from Ohio State University in 1968 and an MBA from Columbia University. He was chairman of the board and CEO of Shearson Lehman Brothers from 1983 to 1990. Cohen went on to cofound Ramius and serves as CEO of Cowen & Co., a diversified financial services firm
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Cohen and family, via their foundation, have supported Duke University, Columbia Prep & Grammar School, The Ohio State University, Columbia University Business School, Brown University, and University of Wisconsin, Cohen’s wife Brooke graduated from the school and is on the board of visitors of University of Wisconsin’s School of Human Ecology.
ARTS & CULTURE: Brooke is on the board of MoMA’s Contemporary Arts Council. The Cohens support MoMA as well as Apollo Theater, American Museum of Natural History, and Randall's Island Park Alliance. Cohen’s former wife, Karen, founded the Randall’s Island Park Alliance in 1992.
HEALTH: Grantees include Mount Sinai Health System, The Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson Foundation, and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF).
JEWISH CAUSES: The Cohen family supports Jewish institutions, including Central Synagogue.
LOOKING FORWARD: It’s unclear if the family’s annual grantmaking through their foundation will increase in the coming years, but expect the Cohens to stick with their prior interest areas.
The Cohen Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:
Cohen Family Foundation
The Ayco Co., LP, P.O. Box 860
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Telephone: (518) 640-5000