Person

Andrew Shechtel

Occupation:

Hedge Fund Manager

Main Philanthropy:

Ricky and Andrew J. Shechtel Philanthropic Fund

Andrew Shechtel is a hedge fund manager and a co-founder of the major center-left funder Wellspring Philanthropic Fund (formerly “Matan B’Seter Foundation”).

Early Life and Career

Princeton-Newport Partners

Andrew Shechtel is an alumnus of Johns Hopkins University and graduated with a degree in math and political economy at the age of 19. Shechtel attended Harvard Business School and reportedly “worked on Wall Street” and joined Princeton-Newport Partners in the 1980s, an early investment management firm. He was an employee of the firm when it was raided in the 1990s by federal officials investigating alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Shechtel was not charged. [1] The five partners of Princeton-Newport Partners were “indicted on racketeering and tax-fraud charges,” but all charges were eventually dropped. [2]

TGS Management

The three founders of Wellspring were partners in the hedge fund TGS Management; C. Frederick Taylor is specifically listed as the firm’s co-founder beginning in 1989. [3] TGS is reportedly an acronym named for Wellspring founders Frederick Taylor, David Gelbaum, and Andrew Shechtel. [4]

In June 2017, a report in the school-run business paper Princeton Info identified TGS as the “secretive successor” to the failed firm Princeton-Newport Partners. [5]

Under RICO law federal prosecutors had the power to seize the assets of Princeton Newport Partners. So after the raid the firm was dissolved and several of the traders who had not been charged created their own hedge firm, which to this day operates in the former Prince­ton Newport space at 33 Witherspoon, with a computer operation based in California.

That firm is called TGS, named after partners C. Frederick Taylor, a Haverford alumnus; David Gelbaum, a mathematics major from the University of California-Irvine and one of Ed Thorp’s earliest hires; and Andrew Shechtel, who had been a trader in the Princeton office when the federal raid occurred.

A “Byzantine” Network

Sometime in or around 2000 Wellspring’s founders created what Philanthropy News Digest characterized as a “byzantine” network involving “layers of company subsidiaries” in various states which allowed them to “disguise” their donations and “avoid almost all public scrutiny of their activities.” [6]

The network and its donors remained mostly hidden from public view until exposed by a May 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek report: “The $13 Billion Mystery Angels.” [7]

David Gelbaum retired from TGS in or around 2014, leaving Shechtel and Taylor to manage it. He and his wife reportedly ceased their philanthropic giving in 2013. According to Gelbaum’s lawyer, as reported by the Algemeiner, he “lost more than he thought he could possibly lose” during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. [8]

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

For more information, see Wellspring Philanthropic Fund (Nonprofit)

The Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, formerly known as the Matan B’Seter Foundation, was created in 2001 as part of an elaborate and secretive network of grantmaking organizations funded by three hedge fund billionaires: Andrew Shechtel, David Gelbaum and C. Frederick Taylor. [9][10] Philanthropy News Digest described their intent as to “disguise” donations and “avoid almost all public scrutiny.” [11] “Matan B’Seter” is a Hebrew phrase meaning “anonymous gift.” [12]

Personal Life and Philanthropy

A 2015 report in the school-run business paper Princeton Info noted that Andrew Shechtel and his wife, Raquel, live in New Jersey. In 2015, he was reportedly the 3rd-wealthiest resident of New Jersey, with an estimated net worth of $5 billion; during a “multi-year period,” Shechtel gave away nearly $5 billion, leaving his resulting net worth at $125 million. [13]

Shechtel’s philanthropy is the Ricky and Andrew J. Shechtel Philanthropic Fund, which largely funds the Jewish Community Youth Foundation, a project of the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County (in New Jersey). [14] The Shechtel Fund is maintained at the Jewish Communal Fund, a major donor-advised fund (DAF) provider. [15]

References

  1. “Princeton Newport’s Secretive Successor.” Princeton Info. June 14, 2017. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://princetoninfo.com/princeton-newports-secretive-successor/ ^
  2. Richard K. Rein. “It Pays to Know Your (Uber-Rich) Neighbors.” Princeton Info. July 15, 2015. August 28, 2019. https://princetoninfo.com/it-pays-to-know-your-uber-rich-neighbors/ ^
  3. “C. Frederick Taylor.” LittleSis. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://littlesis.org/person/153349-C_Frederick_Taylor ^
  4. “Princeton Newport’s Secretive Successor.” Princeton Info. June 14, 2017. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://princetoninfo.com/princeton-newports-secretive-successor/ ^
  5. “Princeton Newport’s Secretive Successor.” Princeton Info. June 14, 2017. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://princetoninfo.com/princeton-newports-secretive-successor/ ^
  6. “Anonymous Donors of More Than $1 Billion Revealed.” Philanthropy News Digest. May 9, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2019. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/anonymous-donors-of-more-than-1-billion-revealed ^
  7. Zachary Mider. “The $13 Billion Mystery Angels.” Bloomberg. May 14, 2014. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-05-08/three-mysterious-philanthropists-fund-fourth-largest-u-dot-s-dot-charity#p1. ^
  8. Ghermezian, Shiryn. “Dozens of Jewish Charities Supported by Newly Revealed ‘$13 Billion Mystery Angels.’” The Algemeiner. May 27, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2019. https://www.algemeiner.com/2014/05/27/jewish-charities-heavily-favored-by-newly-revealed-13-billion-mystery-angels/ ^
  9. Ghermezian, Shiryn. “Dozens of Jewish Charities Supported by Newly Revealed ‘$13 Billion Mystery Angels.’” The Algemeiner. May 27, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2019. https://www.algemeiner.com/2014/05/27/jewish-charities-heavily-favored-by-newly-revealed-13-billion-mystery-angels/ ^
  10. Ghermezian, Shiryn. “Dozens of Jewish Charities Supported by Newly Revealed ‘$13 Billion Mystery Angels.’” The Algemeiner. May 27, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2019. https://www.algemeiner.com/2014/05/27/jewish-charities-heavily-favored-by-newly-revealed-13-billion-mystery-angels/ ^
  11. “Anonymous Donors of More Than $1 Billion Revealed.” Philanthropy News Digest. May 9, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2019. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/anonymous-donors-of-more-than-1-billion-revealed ^
  12. Ghermezian, Shiryn. “Dozens of Jewish Charities Supported by Newly Revealed ‘$13 Billion Mystery Angels.’” The Algemeiner. May 27, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2019. https://www.algemeiner.com/2014/05/27/jewish-charities-heavily-favored-by-newly-revealed-13-billion-mystery-angels/ ^
  13. Richard K. Rein. “It Pays to Know Your (Uber-Rich) Neighbors.” Princeton Info. July 15, 2015. August 28, 2019. https://princetoninfo.com/it-pays-to-know-your-uber-rich-neighbors/ ^
  14. “Jewish Community Youth Foundation.” JFCS of Greater Mercer County. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://www.jfcsonline.org/jcyf/ ^
  15. “2016 Jewish Communal Fund Annual Report. “Jewish Communal Fund. Accessed August 28, 2019. Original URL: https://issuu.com/jewishcommunal/docs/2016_jcf_annual_report_final/62. Archived here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/08/2016-Jewish-Communal-Fund-Annual-Report.pdf ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Wellspring Advisors (For-profit)
    Co-Founder (TGS Management)
  2. Wellspring Philanthropic Fund (Non-profit)
    Co-Founder (TGS Management)
  See an error? Let us know!