Donald Sussman

Donald Sussman
Picture of Donald Sussman
Born Selwyn Donald Sussman[1][2]
(1946-06-08) June 8, 1946
Miami, Florida, United States
Residence Fort Lauderdale, Florida[3][4]
North Haven, Maine
Alma mater New York University
Columbia College
Occupation Financier
Known for Philanthropy
Spouse(s) Chellie Pingree
Children 2

Selwyn Donald Sussman (born June 8, 1946) is an American financier and philanthropist, the Chairman of the Board of Trust Asset Management, the founder of the Paloma Funds and New China Capital Management LLC, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall.[5] Sussman has also served on the Board of Trustees of Skidmore College, the Center for American Progress and the Portland Museum of Art.

Sussman is married to Chellie Pingree, a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maine's 1st congressional district, though Pingree announced their separation and impending divorce on September 8, 2015.

Early life and education

Sussman was born in June[6] 1946 and spent his early life in Miami, Florida[7] Sussman attended Columbia College and received a B.S. and an M.B.A. from New York University.[8] He received an honorary degree from Maine College of Art in 2012 for his support of cultural programs and institutions within Maine.[9]


Sussman's career in finance began in 1958, when, at the age of 12, he made a 6x return on a $300 investment in the stock of Michigan Sugar, by correctly predicting that the Cuban Revolution would disrupt sugar supplies and drive up the price of sugar commodities.[10][11] Sussman went on to found Paloma Partners in 1981, a Connecticut-based hedge fund with over $3 billion in assets under management.[12] Paloma’s middle and back-office operations were acquired by JPMorgan Worldwide Securities Services in February 2006 for an undisclosed sum.[13][14]

Following the sale to JPMorgan, Sussman has acted as a serial investor and backer of new hedge funds such as Naseem Taleb's Empirica Capital and David Shaw's D.E. Shaw & Co.[15][16] In 2013, Paloma Partners agreed to back Rhodium Capital. Rhodium Capital, based in London, is a long-short European credit fund founded by Ifftikhar Ali and Jeffrey Tirman.[17] Sussman continues to run Paloma Partners and is also the Chairman of Trust Asset Management.

He has donated US$11 million to Priorities USA Action, a Super PAC supporting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.[18]


In 1994, Donald Sussman purchased his first Maine home in Deer Isle.[19] In 2008, Sussman purchased Turner Farm, a historic farm located on the island of North Haven, ME, 12 miles off shore in Penobscot Bay.[20] The history of Turner Farm dates back to the 1780s and under Sussman’s ownership, the property has been returned to a working farm producing organic vegetables, flowers, poultry, beef, pork and cheese.[21] Sussman and Chellie Pingree reside on the farm. It is their primary residence in Maine.[22]

In 2012, Maine Values LLC, a company owned by Sussman, invested approximately $3.3 million in MaineToday Media in order to provide the Maine newspaper company with much needed working capital. MaineToday Media is the owner of the Kennebec Journal, the Morning Sentinel and the Coastal Journal, the Portland Press Herald and several digital media properties. The investment, originally made as a loan, was restructured as a purchase of equity and resulted in Maine Values owning 75% of MaineToday Media.[23][24] In 2015, Sussman sold MaineToday to Reade Brower, a Maine printer and newspaper owner.[25]


Sussman has made substantial donations to educational, charitable, community, and political organizations. Since 1992, Sussman has donated in excess of $7M to numerous political candidates and grassroots organizations.[26][27] Sussman stated in an interview in 2011 that, “My political donations are a very small part of my philanthropy and I consider my political donations to be philanthropy because I do not have an agenda.”[28]

During October 1997 it was announced that Sussman had donated $1M to Blue Hill Memorial Hospital to construct an outpatient building.[29] The building was later named “Sussman Medical Office Center".

In 2008 he was appointed to the board of trustees at the University of the Virgin Islands, and at this time made a pledge of $1,000,000 to the university.[30]

In 2010, after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Sussman donated the use of his private jet to transport medical supplies to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.[31] Also in 2010, the same aircraft was used to transport a dying man back to Maine.[32] On June 3, 2010 it was announced that Sussman had donated a new 7000 sq ft facility to the Penobscot East Resource Center (PERC) to promote sustainable fisheries in Maine.[33] On Oct 31, 2010, Skidmore College, a private liberal arts college located in Saratoga Springs, NY, announced that Sussman had committed a $12M gift to the school. The donation was part of a larger $200M effort to build Co-Ed housing.[34] Sussman has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Skidmore College until 2012 and continues to serve on the Skidmore College Investment Committee.[35][36]

In 2012, Sussman established the S. Donald Sussman Award at the MIT Sloan School of Management. This award is presented to individuals or groups who exhibit innovation and excellence in quantitative investment strategies and models.[37] In 2012, Sussman made a $12 million donation for the redevelopment of student housing at Skidmore College. After redevelopment the student housing was renamed to 'Sussman Village' and was completed in 2013. It is scheduled to accept students in October 2013.[38] In 2013, Sussman donated $1 million to Pen Bay Healthcare to help complete its new Hospice House, construction of which had already begun on the northern edge of the 64-acre Pen Bay Medical Center campus in Rockport. The Hospice House will be named in honor of Sussman’s grandmother, Ida Sussman. Construction is estimated to be completed in July 2014.[39][40]

Personal life

In 1981, Sussman married Laurie M. Tisch, daughter of Preston Robert Tisch who was the co-owner of the New York Giants. In 1992, they divorced. They had two children:[41]

On June 18, 2011, Sussman was remarried to Chellie Pingree, a Democratic U.S. representative from Maine, in a private ceremony on Turner Farm.[45][46] On September 8, 2015, Pingree announced an "amicable and truly mutual decision" to separate from Sussman and begin divorce proceedings.[47]



  1. "The top 10 Maine campaign donors in this year's elections include Sussman, Pingree, Stephen King". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. "Selwyn Donald Sussman". Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  3. "Money manager buys record $27.5 million home — although it's not his style - Sun Sentinel". Sun-Sentinel. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. "Emily Sussman and Kevin Craw". The New York Times. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2016. ...S. Donald Sussman of Fort Lauderdale, Fla...
  5. "Board of Trustees". Carnegie Hall. 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  6. 1 2 "Wealthy financier invests in Maine papers | The Morning Sentinel, Waterville, ME". 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  7. "Man in middle of Pingree dust-up seen as generous and unassuming | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  8. S. Donald Sussman. "S. Sussman: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  9. "MECA to honor Shettleworth, Sussman - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  10. "Hedged bets. (Paloma Partners, hedge fund) | HighBeam Business: Arrive Prepared". 1989-10-23. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  11. "Paloma's Sussman forecasts growth for hedge fund industry". Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  12. The New Investment Superstars: 13 Great Investors and Their Strategies for ... - Lois Peltz - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  13. "JPMorgan Worldwide Securities Services to Acquire Paloma's Middle and Back Office Operations". J.P. Morgan. 2006-02-13. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  14. Jewish Business News: "Donald Sussman Donates $1 Million Towards the Cost of Completing the Pen Bay Hospice Center" December 2, 2013
  15. "D.E. Shaw & Company – Hedge Fund Letters". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  16. Lubove, Seth. "Black Swan Manager Returning 23% Anticipating Bear Market". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  17. "S. Donald Sussman's Paloma Partners Backs New Fund".
  19. "Donald Sussman". 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  20. "The Turner Farm: Then and Now". Turner Farm. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  21. "About Us". Turner Farm. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  22. Maine Business Press (2011-03-15). "Donald Sussman to Deliver Opening Keynote at MANP Leadership Conference". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  23. The Associated Press (2012-02-10). "Chellie Pingree's husband gives boost to MaineToday Media — Business — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  24. Wickenheiser, Matt (2012-03-27). "Sussman-owned group acquires 75 percent share of MaineToday Media — Business — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  25. Fishell, Darren. "Press Herald papers purchased by midcoast businessman Reade Brower". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  26. "Donald Sussman | Influence Explorer: Campaign Finance". Influence Explorer. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  27. "Sussman, S. Donald: Donor Detail". OpenSecrets. 2013-03-25. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  28. "Donald Sussman". 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  29. "Blue Hill hospital gets $1 million gift". 1997-10-18. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  30. "Sussman associates entangled in Virgin Islands bribery scandal". The Maine Wire. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  32. "Bill Nemitz: Plane truth is that Donald Sussman's private jet flew dying Mainer home | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  34. 1 2 "Skidmore College: News Details". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  35. "Skidmore College: S. Donald Sussman". 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  36. "Board says farewell?and thanks?to seven trustees". Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  37. "MIT Sloan Finance Group S. Donald Sussman Award". 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  38. "Sussman Village opens ahead of schedule to positive reaction - News - The Skidmore News - Skidmore College". The Skidmore News. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  39. "Donald Sussman donates $1 million for Pen Bay Healthcare Hospice House". PenBay Pilot.
  40. "Donald Sussman Donates $1 Million Towards The Cost of Completing The Pen Bay Hospice Center". Jewish Business News.
  41. Gordon, Amanda (2012-02-06). "Super Bowl Scene: Giants Women Tackle Football in Tisches' Owners Box". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  42. New York Times: "Carolyn Sussman and William Blodgett" June 17, 2012
  43. "Former SLDN Attorney Receives Cardozo School of Law Alumni Award for DADT Repeal Work | Latest News | OutServe-SLDN". 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  44. New York Times: "Emily Sussman and Kevin Craw" May 31, 2015
  45. "Pingree, Sussman wed | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  46. 1 2
  47. "Chellie Pingree, Donald Sussman to end their marriage". Bangor Daily News. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  48. "Alternative Investment News Announces Hedge Fund Industry Award Winners; Lone Pine Capital and HFR Asset Management Snag Awards; Sussman Honored. - Free Online Library". 2004-06-25. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  49. "Sussman named to Hedge Fund Hall of Fame". Central Maine.
  50. "Hedge Fund Hall of Fame - S. Donald Sussman".
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