PALM BEACH, Fla., Oct. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Philanthropist and businessman Paul Singer was presented with the 2018 William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership Thursday at the Annual Meeting of The Philanthropy Roundtable. The prize, administered annually by the Roundtable, highlights the power of philanthropy to promote positive change and inspire others to support charities that achieve genuine results.
"I think the way that all philanthropists start is by writing out a check. The path I took from there led me to expand beyond writing out checks to identifying a gap, and if a group addressing that gap doesn't currently exist, then constructing something new," said Singer, who was interviewed by Roger Hertog, a member of The Philanthropy Roundtable and recipient of the 2010 Simon Prize.
Singer launched Elliott Management Corporation, a multi-strategy hedge fund, in 1977. 40 years later, Elliott has offices in the U.S., and affiliated offices in London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo; a staff of 440; and $35 billion under management, making it one of the oldest and most successful hedge funds on Wall Street. Singer's business success afforded him the ability to become a serious philanthropist, focusing his attention on public policy, including the rule of law and Constitutional issues that affect democracy and freedom; various Jewish causes, particularly as they relate to Israel's economic stability and prosperity; and education and free speech on campuses.
"When we create things that didn't exist before – fund them, back them and gather resources from our friends, acquaintances and people who we think are like-minded, that is very exciting to me," Singer said.
One of Singer's most significant philanthropic initiatives has been the creation of Start-Up Nation Central in Israel. Based on the premise that functional markets and an innovative economy have been the path to Israel's prosperity, the project showcases Israel's entrepreneurial dynamism and technological advances, and connects business leaders, governments, NGOs, and academic institutions around the world with Israeli problem-solvers who are tackling pressing technological challenges in a variety of fields such as cyber security, fintech, medicine, healthcare, and agricultural technology.
"I think that if you are a philanthropist and you want to know the current trends that you should be paying attention to, then you should be talking to Paul Singer. He is a philanthropist with a long view, he sees things other people don't see, and he's willing to take bets," said Robert Nicholson, founder and executive director of the Philos Project, a New York-based nonprofit that aims to promote positive Christian engagement in the Middle East.
A staunch supporter of charter schools, tutoring programs, and endowed academic grants to award excellence in teaching, Singer is committed to enhancing and protecting intellectual diversity and the marketplace of ideas on college campuses. Singer has been an important donor in developing Heterodox Academy, a coalition of professors and graduate students committed to increasing viewpoint diversity on college campuses.
"Paul and his foundation are always working to expand the realm of possibility. They think big, beyond what is possible now, but what might become possible soon, if people start working now. And then they help the right people get together and get to work," said Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business, and co-founder of Heterodox Academy.
The William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership celebrates living philanthropists who have shown exemplary leadership through their own charitable giving, either directly or through foundations they have created. The prize was created by the William E. Simon Foundation to further Bill Simon Sr.'s ideals and principles of personal responsibility, resourcefulness, volunteerism, scholarship, individual freedom, faith in God, and helping people to help themselves. Previous recipients of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership include Pitt and Barbara Hyde, Bruce and Suzie Kovner, David Weekley, the late Jon Huntsman Sr., Eli and Edythe Broad, Bernie Marcus, Charles Koch, Roger Hertog, Phil and Nancy Anschutz, the late Rich and Helen DeVos, Dr. Ben Carson, David Robinson, the late Sir John Templeton, and the late John Walton.
The Philanthropy Roundtable is America's leading network of charitable donors working to strengthen our free society, uphold donor intent, and protect the freedom to give. Our members include individual philanthropists, families, and private foundations.
SOURCE The Philanthropy Roundtable