“I’m ashamed, because I know this issue and I’ve done nothing about it,” Paul Tudor Jones said yesterday at the Robin Hood Foundation Veterans Summit.
Standing on the retired aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Intrepid, Jones recited some statistics: 18 veterans commit suicide every day; 29 percent of veterans are unemployed; 20 percent of the homeless in New York City are veterans.
“When I leave here, I’m going directly to a meeting with my head of human resources and the president of my company,” said the chairman and chief executive of Tudor Investment Corp. “From now on, for any job opening we have, we’ll interview at least two vets.”
Jones then called over the foundation’s executive director, David Saltzman, with whom he started Robin Hood nearly 25 years ago over Chinese take-out.
“How do we get the word out to all the hedge funds?” Jones asked, wanting to share his pledge.
“We’ll do it together,” Saltzman replied.
They already have help from Steve Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors LP, Jes Staley of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. They are members of the Robin Hood Veterans Advisory Council who spoke at the summit.
“Jobs give our veterans the chance to put a roof over their heads and provide for their families,” Cohen said in his remarks at the top of the daylong program.
“We are hiring 10 veterans a day,” Staley said of his firm’s commitment, which has led to recruiting offices next to military bases.
Blankfein, for his part, said his encounters with servicemen and servicewomen have solidified his belief that they have what it takes to succeed at Goldman.
He recalled spending two days aboard the U.S.S. George Washington, a nuclear-powered super carrier.
“I ate meals with the officers and enlisted men and it just knocked my socks off when I saw how committed people were,” Blankfein said.
The summit drew a few hundred nonprofit leaders and businessmen, including Glenn Fuhrman of MSD Capital and Jeff Walker, a private sector leader of the MDG Health Alliance.
One panelist emphasized the need for stress management training at the time of enlistment, to prevent and reduce the effects of trauma and make the transition to civilian life smoother.
Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said a strong community that meets the needs of today’s veterans can also help.
“The old VFW Lodge is bricks and mortar, we’re Amazon,” Rieckhoff said.
Robin Hood foundation has spent $4.7 million in the past year to provide shelter, mental-health services and job training to veterans. The organization has made 17 grants to such nonprofits as the Jericho Project, Per Scholas and the Doe Fund.
Met Museum Ball
On the red carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Ball, David Koch of Koch Industries was feeling lavish surrounded by Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone and Jessica Pare.
“On nights like this, you spend,” Koch said of the $10,000-a-ticket benefit to support fashion exhibitions. His Harry Winston tuxedo studs with diamonds and emeralds sparkled.
“It’s pageantry in the 18th-century sense of the word,” said Catherine Martin, wife of theater director Baz Lurhmann. “We’re all entertaining each other in our excesses.”
Well, not everyone.
“I’m really cheap,” said Bee Shaffer, daughter of Anna Wintour, in a navy-blue lace gown by Erdem. “I don’t buy expensive things and I eat in a lot. I make grilled cheese in a frying pan.”
“I spend on philanthropy and I save my money for my grandchildren,” said designer Donna Karan.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
Today’s Muse highlights include: Richard Vines on food and Lance Esplund on art.