George Soros: A Phoenix from the Ashes
George Soros is an investor, political donor, and philanthropist who was born in Hungary. He left his country as a young man and attended the London School of Economics. He worked odd jobs, such as waiting tables and being a porter for the railroad, in order to pay for his schooling. His first job in finance was at a merchant bank. When he arrived in New York, he went to work on wall street, and eventually was able to start his own fund in 1969 called the Quantum Fund, which he fired up with $12 million of his own money. He built an even bigger name for himself in 1992 when he shorted the British pound alongside Stan Druckenmiller and made a huge profit. He has received the nickname of the man who broke Bank of England for that.
Soros is still investing through his family office called Soros Fund Management, which has over $30 billion in assets. He believes in equal representation, so he hired Dawn Fitzpatrick, a prominent Wall Street woman, to be his chief investment officer for Soros Fund Management. She is the 7th CIO for the company since 2000. Soros has long been a supporter of political and social causes through his great wealth. However, in recent years, his giving declined, after a number of losses in the political arena. For example, he backed Kerry against Bush in an effort to oust him from power, but the strategy didn’t materialize. He dialed back his giving so much that he suggested he may never spend as heavily on politics again, saying that the 2004 election donations were an exception.
However, recently, Soros gave over $25 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign to boost her in the election. The two have a relationship spanning over two and a half decades. But Soros doesn’t just use his money for political ends. He also donates to various organizations characterized as non-profits. Through his international foundations, his philanthropic work includes giving $13 billion to various groups that focus on human rights defense, shaping democratic processes and elections, and promoting programs such as the Affordable Care Act. He is also a large proponent of climate change reform, such as putting taxes on carbon for American businesses. The 87-year old has clearly built a reputation of great wisdom and financial success. While his donations to American Bridge 21st Century, Immigrant Voters Win (a Super PAC encouraging all Hispanics to vote), and Priorities USA Action (Super PAC supporting Clinton) are significant, these recent political gifts to Clinton are only the tip of the iceberg. From Kerry, to Obama, to Clinton, it’s clear that Soros is willing to put his money where his mouth is to support the causes he cares about.