Hedge Funds Are Biggest Donors on Wall Street

When it comes to charitable giving, who gives more--hedge funds or private equity?

Turns out the private equity folks are the cheapskates.

When you look at the 50 most generous family foundations last year funded by Wall Street money, the hands down winners are hedge funds--by a four to one margin when you compare them to private equity.

Portfolio Magazine dug through the latest IRS filings of all the family foundations started by Wall Street money.

Of the 50 most generous foundations--not necessarily the largest, but those that gave out the most money--24 were from hedge funds, a mere six from private equity, 13 from investment banks, and only three from mutual funds.

No. 1 on the list: Robert Wilson Charitable Trust, named for the 80-year-old founder of the self-named Robert Wilson hedge fund. The foundation donated a total of $52.5 million last year to three causes: the Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Environmental Defense.

No. 2: John Templeton Foundation, named for the founder of Templeton Mutual Funds. He donated $44.3 million, mostly to organizations that focus on the nexus of science and personality, and the intersection of business and spirituality.

No. 3: Jim Simons, of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, donating 33 million to math
and science education.

No. 4: Tiger Management's Julian Robertson, whose foundation donated $32 million, mostly to education.

No. 5: Former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill's foundation donated $26. 4 million to places like Carnegie Hall and Cornell University.

One interesting footnote: of the family foundations started by investment banking money. more than half come from Goldman Sachs.