New York (HedgeCo.Net) – Former hedge fund manager John Arnold and his wife have pledged up to $10 million in an effort to fund Head Start programs that could no longer operate due to the government shutdown. “Early childhood programs for low-income families in six states, forced to close because of the government shutdown, will reopen.” CNN reports.
“More than 7,000 at-risk children will be able to return to their Head Start classrooms after philanthropists Laura and John Arnold extended up to $10 million in emergency funding support to the National Head Start Association.” The charity said. “The support will provide assistance to Head Start and Early Head Start programs that were forced to close or are facing closure this month as a result of the government shutdown.”
His firm, Centaurus Advisors, LLC, is a Houston-based hedge fund that specializes in trading energy products, Arnold retired in 2012. In 2011, he and his wife donated over $100 million to different causes including the Laura and John Arnold Foundation which they founded. In 2012 they gave away or pledged $423 million.
“For nearly fifty years, Head Start has been the window of opportunity for more than 27 million of our nation’s poorest children as they embark on their journey to achieve the American Dream,” said Yasmina Vinci, Executive Director of the National Head Start Association. “The Arnolds’ most generous act epitomizes what it means to be an angel investor; they have selflessly stepped up for Head Start children to ensure their path toward kindergarten readiness is not interrupted by the inability of government to get the nation’s fiscal house in order.”
In addition to traditional philanthropic activities, Arnold also advocates for pension fund reform, encouraging state and local governments to reduce benefits to workers and to invest assets in riskier investments such as hedge funds. Some have criticized his efforts, saying that hedge fund managers, such as himself, collect generous sums in fees for managing the funds, while the workers are left with reduced pensions.
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