On December 15, 2010 over 1,100 financial professionals, prominent business leaders, and philanthropists honored Peter W. May, President & Founding Partner, Trian Fund Management, L.P., with The Gustave L. Levy Award, and Michael B. Nierenberg, Managing Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch with The Wall Street Young Leadership Award at The Wall Street Dinner held at the New York Hilton in New York City.
This much anticipated event was organized by the UJA-Federation of New York Wall Street & Financial Services Division and one of New York City’s most important and prestigious philanthropic events of the season. Despite the tumultuous economic times, UJA-Federation of New York Wall Street & Financial Services Division demonstrated their unwavering generosity and dedication to supporting the needs of the most vulnerable by raising a staggering 19.5 million dollars.David Moore, Chairman and CEO, Moore Holdings, was Master of Ceremonies, and Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive, The Jewish Agency for Israel, was the Guest Speaker.
The evening was a great opportunity to socialize and meet some of the most influential leaders in the finance industry. In a season full of holiday parties, galas and events, the UJA-Federation of New York Wall Street Dinner stood out. In lieu of a formal sit down dinner the organizers held an extensive cocktail reception from 5:00pm to 6:30pm before the formal awards ceremony program followed by an after-party at 7:45pm which included an open bar, casino and dessert. Tickets were $350 per person and $125 per person for only the after-party.
The narrative throughout the evening was UJA touching peoples’ lives, generosity, and the importance of giving back to the community. This event was a dynamic gathering attracting both the “Titans of Wall Street” and the future leadership of the financial industry.
Mr. Moore began the evening by introducing the Wall Street Dinner Dais. Mr. Moore then asked the guests attending the Dinner “What do you stand for?” and to rise from their seats when the word best describing what each guest stood for was announced, be it Fun, Dignity, Hope, Israel, Inspiration, Rescue, or Community. Different speakers spoke about each word and what it meant to them. For example if you had ever been to Israel you were asked to rise. Alan C. Greenberg, Vice Chairman Emeritus, JPMogan Chase & Co., choose Community and spoke about what it meant to him and if you stand for it please rise. By the end of “What do you stand for?” the packed room was full of standing guests displaying the fact that at some point UJA has touched each guest’s life.
UJA then showed a five minute video describing how UJA makes an impact on people in the United States and from around the world.
Michael Nierenberg was introduced and received The Wall Street Young Leadership Award which recognizes a young professional who demonstrates exemplary leadership, a steadfast commitment to the community and continued generosity to UJA-Federation. Mr. Nierenberg displayed a sense of humor and how he probably was one of the youngest people on the dias. He described his connection to UJA and different charitable projects he has been involved with over the years and quoted Ace Greenberg by saying ‘The more you give, the more you get.’ Previous honorees include Marc S. Lipschultz, Jonathan M Harris, Larry Robbins, Scott S. Prince, Alexandra Lebenthal, Ricky Sandler, Jeffrey L. Verschleiser, and Stephen J. Girsky.
Natan Sharansky, who has dedicated his life to those who suffer and is a hero and legend to millions, was introduced as the Guest Speaker and spoke approximately 15 minutes followed by a standing ovation. Natan Sharansky was a former Soviet refusenik and prisoner, Israeli politician, human rights activist, and author of three books. Sharansky was released from prison in February 1986 after nine years in a Soviet Concentration Camp known as the Gulag. He was the first political prisoner ever released by Mikhail Gorbachev due to intense political pressure from Ronald Reagan and many others. Sharansky immediately emigrated to Israel. In 1998, he wrote Fear No Evil, his memoirs of his time as a prisoner.
Peter W. May then received The Gustave L. Levy Award. Considered a pre-eminent honor in the industry, this award recognizes a leader in the Wall Street community for both exceptional professional achievement and an enduring commitment to UJA-Federation. Mr. May spoke about “engaged philanthropy” and the return on investment when one gives and goes beyond just writing a check to satisfy the spirit. Previous honorees include John A. Paulson, Gary D. Cohn, Richard A. Friedman, Daniel S. Och, Morris W. Offit, Michael Minikes, Leon M. Wagner, and Jeffrey B. Lane.
During the Dinner Awards Ceremony one of the speakers announced that UJA and the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation presented a wonderful opportunity for attendees by allowing them to register in the Foundation’s database to find a potential bone marrow match to save a life. Representatives from the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation registered guests at the event. Registering someone involves very little time and includes taking a quick and painless cotton swab from inside your cheek to see if you are a potential match to save a life. “He who saves one life, it is as if he had saved the entire world” – Talmud. For more information and to register in the Foundation’s database please visit their website at www.giftoflife.org.
Philanthropists and business leaders saluting the honorees included Dinner Chairs Kenneth L. Davis, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Nelson Peltz, Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner, Trian Fund Management, L.P. Honorary Chairs included Alan C. Greenberg, Vice Chairman Emeritus, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Jerry W. Levin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Wilton Brands, Inc., Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein, Central Synagogue, and James S. Tisch, Chief Executive Officer, Loews Corporation. Vice Chairs included: Howard P. Berkowitz, Managing Director, BlackRock; Jerry M. Cohen, Senior Lead Client Service Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP; Scott Eichel, Managing Director, Royal Bank of Scotland; Alan R. Finkelstein, President, AFCO Industries, Inc.; Cliff Greenberg, Portfolio Manager, Baron Capital Inc.; Jon May, Chief Operating Officer, The Carbon Neutral Company; Paul N. Roth, Partner, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP; Michael Rubinoff, Managing Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Ricky Sandler, Managing Member, Eminence Capital, LLC; Brian L. Schorr, Chief Legal Officer, Trian Fund Management, L.P.; David N. Sherr, Managing Partner, One William Street Capital; Adam Siegel, Managing Director, Royal Bank of Scotland; Adam D. Sokoloff, Managing Director, Jefferies & Company, Inc.; Marc A. Utay, Managing Partner, Clarion Capital Partners, LLC; Jeffrey L. Verschleiser, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs; and David Windreich, Executive Managing Director, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group.
UJA-Federation of New York is the world’s largest community based philanthropy and cares for those in need, rescues those in harm’s way, and renews and strengthens the Jewish people in New York, in Israel, and around the world. UJA helps 1.4 million people in New York City, Westchester County, and Long Island, as well as 3 million in Israel and 60 other countries. UJA-Federaion is the largest fundraising organization in the world and funds raised by UJA-Federation sustain the activities of more than 100 health, human-service, educational, and community agencies. Every day these community-based organizations provide a multitude of services that improve and enhance people’s lives.
For more information on UJA please visit their website at www.ujafedny.org.