After graduating from Smith College and Columbia Business School, Ann F. Kaplan joined Goldman Sachs in the late 1970s and didn't depart until the early 2000s. Kaplan made partner at the firm, and held a 0.40 percent stake in the company prior to the firm's 1999 IPO. Kaplan headed the municipal bond department in her time, and also promoted wealth management for women.
Jacki Zehner, another pre-IPO female partner I've written about, blogged about the support networks that she and other Goldman women established and were sustained by. She also talks about the need for more women leaders, and the importance of building them up to reach a "critical mass." Post Goldman Sachs, Zehner has been engaged in such efforts as Women Moving Millions, which she describes as "exist[ing] to promote women for women philanthropy."
As for Kaplan, in 2003, she helped create Circle Financial Group, a private wealth-management organization, which she chairs and runs with other female finance veterans. Kaplan is also a partner of Circle Wealth Management, an investment advisory firm.
Additionally, Kaplan has supported endeavors like LearnVest, a financial planning company founded by Harvard alumna Alexa von Tobel. Kaplan provided seed funding for the company and also sat on the board of directors. At her alma mater Smith, meanwhile, Kaplan teamed up with Goldman Sachs to provide $2.5 million in seed money to launch the Women's Financial Education Program, "a comprehensive effort to help young women take hold of their own financial futures by understanding the central role of economics in their lives." The Seven Sisters school is also home to the Ann F. Kaplan Directorship of the Center for Women & Financial Independence (WFI). WFI's programming includes "lessons in basic financial literacy, the opportunity to build an in-depth understanding of global financial markets, and tools for entrepreneurs and those seeking skills for successful self-employment."
Apart from this work, Kaplan has supported other women's organizations through The Frances Alexander Foundation, which she runs with her husband Robert Fippinger, a lawyer. The foundation flies well under the radar and in recent fiscal years has dispersed a modest amount of money— around $400,000. Past grantees include Women's Forum of New York, Women's Refugee Commission, Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media, National Council for Research on Women, MS Foundation for Women, and Jewish Women's Archives, which chronicles and transmits the achievements of Jewish women.
The couple through their foundation have also supported arts and culture outfits. For a complete look at this funder read our profile of Ann Kaplan.
Related: Ann Kaplan Profile