Billionaire Antony Ressler was recently in the news for buying an NBA team, the Atlanta Hawks. He previously bought a minority ownership stake in the Milwaukee Brewers and failed to win a bidding war for the Los Angeles Clippers, which Steve Ballmer bought for a hefty $2 billion.
Those who follow Ressler might also know that he recently became a billionaire, after his company Ares Management's initial public offering in 2014. Ressler currently ranks #1250 on the Forbes' list World's Billionaires, with a net worth of $1.44 billion. Ressler is only in his 50s, and before cofounding Ares, he also cofounded Apollo Global Management with billionaire Leon Black. While the money moving through the Ressler/Gertz Foundation, the charitable vehicle of Ressler and his wife Jami Gertz, isn't overwhelming yet, here are a few must-knows about this newly minted billionaire couple's philanthropy:
1. Education is a High Priority
A lot of Wall Street philanthropists are into education reform. That's also true of Ressler and Jami, and they've focused their ed philanthropy in Los Angeles, where the couple lives. Ressler is a founding board member and co-chair of the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools, a group of charter high schools and middle schools in L.A. One of Alliance's charter schools is the Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School. The couple has also supported Homeboy Industries, which provides education, employment training and other programming for former gang-involved and incarcerated men and women. Money has also recently gone to City Year Los Angeles, Educators for Excellence, Junior Achievement of Southern California, and City Match.
The couple has also given large sums to Campbell Hall, and Ressler's alma mater, Georgetown University, as well as the Center for Early Education.
2. Health, Particularly Children's Health, is an Interest
Ressler and Jami have supported the Center for Discovery, which treats children and adults with significant disabilities, medical complexities and autism spectrum disorders. The couple also helped found the Painted Turtle Camp, a multi-disease camp and family care center in California. Cedars Sinai received nearly $400,000 in 2013, with more modest sums going to Peer Health Exchange and the Ards Foundation (which helps those with acute respiratory distress syndrome) in a recent year.
3. The Couple Also Cares About the Arts
Ressler is a vice chair at LACMA, which received $600,000 alone in 2013, and $540,000 in 2012. In 2010, $1.72 million went to LACMA. Jami is also a Hollywood actress. Money has also gone to arts education outfits like the Young Musicians Project.
True to Ressler's passion for sports, an element of the couple's philanthropy also involves athletics. In recent years, the couple has given to New York Junior Tennis League, John Sepler Sports at Mar Vista, and the Sports Spectacular, which links "world-class athletes and innovative medical research to advance healthier futures for all."
Of late, the Ressler/Gertz Foundation has been averaging around $3 million in grantmaking annually, so this isn't a huge funder yet, but should be watched for greater giving down the line.
Related: Antony Ressler Profile