Wall Streeters Go Long On Catholic Schools

Phi­lan­thropy ▶ A new breed of donors also wants a voice in how schools are run ▶ “We look for up­side—and we see up­side here”

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Markets/ Finance -

The fi­nan­cial world’s fin­ger­prints are all over Bos­ton’s Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy. Tile floors gleam and lock­ers shine thanks to money raised by the likes of Bob Atchin­son, co-founder of the hedge fund Adage Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment. Plaques out­side class­rooms high­light do­na­tions from Welling­ton Man­age­ment, Con­vex­ity Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment, and Mer­rill Lynch.

Wall Street do­na­tions to Catholic schools aren’t new. But in ma­jor cities such as Bos­ton, Chicago, and New York, donors are go­ing be­yond writ­ing checks. They in­creas­ingly want to help run things, too. It’s set­ting off a new de­bate about the Catholic iden­tity of Catholic schools. “It is a dance that is still be­ing played out,” says Ti­mothy Mcniff, the Arch­dio­cese of New York’s su­per­in­ten­dent of schools.

In Bos­ton, Atchin­son is a trustee for the Cam­paign for Catholic Schools, a non­profit that over­saw $55 mil­lion in fundrais­ing, mak­ing the new academy pos­si­ble. In New York, in the Bronx, Richard Bren­nan of Value Re­cov­ery Cap­i­tal sits on a board that runs 14 Catholic schools. H. Ed­ward Han­way, for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Cigna, leads the Faith in the Fu­ture Foun­da­tion, which op­er­ates the

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