Jeffrey Epstein: Career in Finance
Jeffrey Epstein is known as a philanthropist and a supporter of science and education. However he also has a long standing career in finance. Similar to his philanthropic work, Epstein’s financial career has spanned over several concentrations from options trading and asset management to real estate and media.
Origins of a Financier
Mr. Epstein was born in Brooklyn. He attended the prestigious Lafayette High School. From there, he went on to receive an education in mathematics and physics from a couple of noteworthy organizations including The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and the Arts, a private college in the East Village, and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
From his earliest days, Epstein’s love of finance and his devotion to education were interwoven. In fact, he worked briefly as a teacher before applying himself to full-time work as a financial professional. From 1973 through 1975, Mr. Epstein taught calculus and physics at the prestigious Dalton School in New York City. From there, he went on to a career at Bear Stearns.
At Bear Stearns
In 1976, Mr. Epstein began his financial career in earnest, as an options trader at the well-known investment firm, Bear Stearns. In this profession, he put his zeal for math to good use, specializing in such mathematical models as the Black-Scholes options-pricing model. Later, he began to work in the special products division advising high-end, high net-worth clients on tax strategies.
Mr. Epstein was at Bear Stearns for several years, and succeeded there, becoming a partner in 1980. He then took his experience with the company and put it to good use, forming a new company of his own.
At J. Epstein & Co.
The firm that Epstein started was a financial management firm, simply titled, J. Epstein & Co. Founded in 1982, the purpose of the company was to help manage the finances of clients whose net worth was more than a billion dollars. One of the best-known of Mr. Epstein’s clients, was Leslie Wexner, owner of the popular Limited chain of clothing stores.
Mr. Epstein dedicated himself to his company for more than a decade., taking on clients from all over the world, including politicians and heads of state. In 1996, he changed the name of the firm to The Financial Trust Company and relocated its headquarters to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The financial interests of Mr. Epstein led him, in 2003, to place public bids on the popular New York Magazine. Epstein bid on this magazine alongside advertising executive Donny Deutsch; investor Nelson Peltz; publishing guru Mortimer Zuckerman; and the famous Hollywood producer and distributor, Harvey Weinstein. They were outbid, in the end, by Bruce Wasserstein, a long-time Wall Street investor.
A year later in 2004, Epstein and Zuckerman collaborated on financing a nationally syndicated celebrity and pop culture magazine called Radar. The two of them were the financial backers for the magazine, with Jeffrey Epstein and Mr. Zuckerman putting up as much as $25 million to fund the publication. Radar editor Maer Roshan retained a small ownership stake.
In Real Estate
Over the years, Mr. Epstein has shown substantial interest in real estate development both as part of his business but on a personal level as well. On the personal side, Epstein has developed several residences around the world, including the development of St. James Island, off of St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since moving his business operations to St. Thomas,, Mr. Epstein has become very involved with the area, providing funding for numerous schools, programs and youth organizations.
In the United States, Epstein also maintains a 50,000 square foot townhouse in New York City, New York, which is reportedly the largest private residence in Manhattan and was formerly the well-known Birch Wathen School. The house was formerly owned by Leslie Wexner.
Other real estate assets that Epstein maintains, throughout the US and the world, and has designed and or restored from scratch include: a villa in Palm Beach, Florida; a ranch in New Mexico and an apartment in Paris, France.
Jeffrey Epstein: Investing in Real Estate & in Science
In 1990, Epstein and Leslie Wexner, his longtime client, collaborated on a major real estate development, called The New Albany Company. Based in Columbus, Ohio, this suburban real estate development is regarded as one of the finest in the area. Mr. Epstein’s support was instrumental to its foundation.
Funding for Science
Mr. Epstein’s main financial interest however has always been in the sciences. He has long track record of supporting the most cutting edge scientific research and education in fields ranging from neuroscience, genetics and physics to artificial intelligence. Epstein has supported many prestigious science labs and universities across the world, including Harvard University, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia and countless others. Over the years, his funding has pushed the envelope of discovery into new exciting frontiers , and has offered invaluable opportunities to many upcoming scientists.
One of Epstein’s best-known contributions to science is his support of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, at Harvard University. This cutting-edge program studies human evolution on a purely mathematical and biochemical level. Founded in 2003, the program and its vital, ongoing work are only possible because of the support of Mr. Epstein.
The Beginnings of a Financier of Science
Today, one of Epstein’s biggest science projects is the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, which provides funding for numerous scientific and educational endeavors throughout the U.S. and the world. Since the founding of The Program for Evolutionary Dynamics in 2003, the Foundation has branched out substantially into other fields including support for medical research, economics and more adding to Epstein’s legacy as a financier.
Throughout his career, Mr. Epstein has shown a keen interest in the study and application of finance, something that has served him well both in his work as an options trader and a financial manager. It has also served Jeffrey Epstein well in his role as a philanthropist. Though his areas of interest are varied, and include everything from real estate to publishing, there is no question that Jeffrey Epstein is ultimately a financier at heart.
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