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Steven Cohen and other hedge funders sought after by art museums

By A. James Memmott

May 19, 2010 at 9:28am

Having found all the old money (think Rockefeller, Guggenheim, etc.), New York City art museums are in hot pursuit of whatever new money has survived the recession.

The Wall Street Journal recently named the 10 people throughout the world that museum directors would like to serve on their boards, a non-paying role that usually carries with it an expectation to contribute to the institution.

Individuals (or their spouses) who made their money managing money dominate the list.

Steven A. Cohen, the billionaire founder, CEO and chairman of the S.A.C. Capital Advisors, is the No. 1 prospect.

Steven A. Cohen
Steven A. Cohen

He clearly knows and values art; the Journal pegs his collection at $750 million. It includes a Willem De Kooning painting he bought for $137.5 million in 2006 from entertainment mogul David Geffin.

Despite his interest in art, Cohen has not yet chosen to serve as a trustee of any of New York’s major art institutions. He is, however, on the Museum of Modern Art’s acquisitions committee.

Glenn Fuhrman is No. 2 on the list. He’s the co-manager and co-founder of MSD Capital. The firm manages the assets of Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of computer-maker Dell.

A former managing partner at Goldman Sachs & Co., Fuhrman is on the Museum of Modern Art’s Contemporary Arts Council, though he’s not a museum trustee. He is the chairman of the American Acquisitions Committee of London’s Tate Museum.

No. 3 on the list, Emily Wei Rales, is an art curator married to collector Mitchell Rales, the chairman of the executive committee of Danaher Corp., a manufacturing and technology conglomerate.

The rest of the list includes:

  • Randy Slifka, managing director of Slifka Asset Management. His grandparents were major art collectors.
  • Erick Zinterhofer, a former senior partner at Apollo Global Management who is starting a private equity firm. He’s married to Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, of the Lauder cosmetic family.
  • Andrew Hall, who heads Phibro LLC, the energy trading unit that Citigroup sold last year to Occidental Petroleum.
  • Charlotte A. Ford, whose husband, William E. Ford, heads the private equity firm General Atlantic. The couple has been collecting art since their marriage in 1988, the Journal reports.
  • Daniel Loeb, CEO of hedge fund Third Point LLC and also an art collector.
  • Maria Baibakova, an heiress to a Russian fortune and a graduate of Columbia University, she curates her father Oleg’s collection and is the founder of Baibakov Art Project in Moscow.
  • S.I. Newhouse Jr., the chairman of Conde Nast publications and a former trustee of the Museum of Modern Art.
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1 Comments

  • #1.   Trader Joe 05.19.2010

    you spelled Danaher wrong.

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