Henry and Marsha Laufer

NET WORTH: $2 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Renaissance Technologies 

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Science Research, Arts & Culture

OVERVIEW: Henry Laufer and his wife Marsha have made several sizable donations to educational institutions, as well as the arts. They do not appear to have a formal family foundation. 

BACKGROUND: Henry Laufer graduated from City College of New York in 1964 and earned an MA and Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University. He taught at MIT and Princeton and joined the Mathematics Department of Stony Brook in 1971 where he worked for more than two decades. Laufer joined Renaissance Technologies in 1992, where he was chief scientist and vice president of research. He retired from the hedge fund firm in 2009.

ISSUES:

EDUCATION & SCIENCE RESEARCH: Henry and Marsha helped create Stony Brook University's Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, named after Laufer’s parents. Laufer is on the board of the Stony Brook Foundation and couple has funded scholarships at the school. The Laufers have also supported The National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath). 

ARTS & CULTURE: The Laufers have made gifts to various groups in New York and West Palm Beach, Florida, such as the Kravis Center for Performing Arts, Palm Beach Dramaworks, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

OTHER: The Laufers’ giving has encompassed women's rights, political advocacy, healthcare, arts, and Jewish causes. They have made donations to Long Island Museum of American Art and the Suffolk County Center on Holocaust, Diversity, and Human Understanding. The couple are major Democratic donors: they have donated to the Clinton Foundation and Marsha served as the chairwoman of the Democratic Party in Brookhaven, New York.

LOOKING FORWARD: Given the lack of a formal foundation, it is difficult to predict the future of the Laufers’ giving.