The Challenge of Giving Away $1 Billion

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Leon Cooperman, founder of hedge fund Omega Advisors Inc., has a billion-dollar problem. Over the course of his career, he has accumulated lots of money. He now plans on giving it all away during his lifetime.

This turns out to be much more challenging than it might might seem.

First, you have to wind down the hedge fund you have managed for the past quarter-century. Cooperman, 75, says he is “tired of the monthly chase of the S&P500” and today is more interested in managing the assets for longer-term, after-tax returns. His fund will now become a so-called family office.

The billionaire philanthropist is a member of Warren Buffett’s and Bill Gates’ Giving Pledge. He sends 500 New Jersey students to college each year, is a major donor to Columbia University and Hunter College, and was the first in the country to endow Birthright Israel.

A few of his favorite books are cited here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunesStitcherOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with venture capitalist William Janeway, managing director of Warburg Pincus LLC, which funded BEA Systems.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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