Bankers, investors and entrepreneurs are taking a new approach to philanthropy with finance-focused projects aimed at supporting global causes.
“We get good yield,” explains Andrew Harris, an adviser of private equity firms at Forum Capital Partners and vice chairman of the non-profit Resolution Project. “We think it’s very different and, to use a Wall Street term, very differentiated.”
Harris is one of many young bankers who are working to aid those in need without deserting their careers or neglecting their aptitude for finance.
Andrew Klaber, an analyst at Paulson & Co. and founder of the non-profit Even Ground, states: “Among this generation- our generation- is a deep passion and interest in learning, earning and returning simultaneously. You just see an unmet need in your research, and research is what we do on Wall Street.”
Klaber’s Even Ground provides education and care to African children who are affected by AIDS. The organization has distributed more than $800,000 for the cause since its inception. Even Ground co-founder Julissa Arce, who works for Merrill Lynch clients at Bank of America, added:
“The first time I felt like I made it wasn’t when I made director. I felt like I made it when I launched this fund.”
Tim Kleiman, an analyst at Golub Capital, is also working on a project to fund higher education in Africa. He explains that the 2008 financial crisis also had an impact on his efforts.
“There’s been a cultural humility that’s come out of the financial crisis,” he says. “When you’re confronted with these really humbling events, where you see the meltdown of these systems and the sad human costs of that- that were not necessarily the result of anyone’s intention- for me it galvanized my thinking.”
“That world that I’m imagining, where I’m a partner and I’ve made all my money, who knows what that world’s going to look like? So why not try something now?” he added.