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George Soros falls to fourth place in annual Chronicle of Philanthropy rankings

February 07, 2012   Rob Copeland

Centaurus’ John Arnold and Oaktree’s Bruce Karsh move into the top rungs of American philanthropy.


  George Soros, photographed last month at Davos
Photo: Bloomberg

A new group of hedge fund managers are now among the nation's top charitable donors.

The latest ranking of the "Philanthropy 50" by the Chronicle of Philanthropy includes just one hedge fund holdover from last year’s list, George Soros, who converted his firm to a family office last summer. Soros fell three spots to fourth place, having donated $335 million to his Open Society Foundations, which supports the development of democratic institutions in Central and Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union.

John Arnold, CEO of Centaurus Advisors, debuted at 11 on the list. The 37-year-old and his wife gave $101 million in 2011, mostly to their own foundation, which favors donations to public charter schools. Bruce Karsh, head of Oaktree Capital Management, made the list at 29 after pledging $50 million to Duke University, where he is a trustee.

And Farallon Capital Management’s Thomas Steyer landed at #33 with a $25 million donation to Yale University and a $15 million donation to the Center for the Next Generation, a San Francisco nonprofit that supports organizations advocating for liberal causes.

Three hedge fund mavens dropped off the ranking from last year: T. Boone Pickens, Bill Ackman and George Weiss.

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