Paul Tudor Jones II, the head of Tudor Investment Corporation, is an incredibly successful hedge fund manager. Tudor Investment Corp is worth around $132 billion today, and Jones spends his days watching his fund’s market positions projected on the wall above his desk.
“I sit here and watch these all day,” he says in an interview with Forbes. But while running the massive hedge fund is his main job, he’s also a philanthropist looking to make the world into a better place for everyone.
It’s out of that intention that The Robin Hood Foundation was born. Paul Tudor Jones, II, founded the organization in 1988 as a way to find, fund, and create programs and schools to combat poverty in New York City. In twenty-five years, the organization has distributed over $1.25 billion to soup kitchens, shelters, training programs, and more. The RHF is especially unique in that its overhead cost is $0—which means that 100% of all donations go directly to the cause. The board of directors pays for all administrative, fundraising, and evaluation costs.
Jones remains on the foundation’s board of directors even today, and is joined by many others, such as Steven A. Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors, Geoffrey Canada of Harlem Children’s Zone, Jeffrey R. Immelt of General Electric, and Doug Morris of Sony Corporation of America.
The Robin Hood Foundation is well known for its “venture philanthropy” approach to fighting poverty—one that has proven effective. But the tactics are about to change. Jones says he’s come to realize that to end poverty, there’s a different path to be taken.
“We’ve been fighting poverty for 25 years through homeless shelters, food banks, job training, teenage pregnancy centers and charter schools,” he says. “But the solution to the problem was right there in front of us. The breakdown of our public education system is the single largest threat—internal or external—that we have in this country.”
And while we couldn’t support that statement more, Jones will have to work harder than ever to make a difference in the American education system. It will involve raising more money, getting involved in public policy, and turning himself into a public icon for people to rally behind.
“The only reason I’m working right now is so I can continue my philanthropy, so I can be financially empowered to make a difference,” he says. “I certainly don’t want any more money for myself.”
Will Paul Tudor Jones, II, be the push it takes to get public education back on track? Share your thoughts in the comments below.