July 14, 2016 – Wall Street veteran John E. Herzog has announced a final $5 million gift to the Museum of American Finance, the New York institution he founded more than 25 years ago. Herzog established the Museum in response to the Crash of ’87 and has been the institution’s largest donor ever since.
Herzog’s most recent gift, which he announced to the Museum’s Board of Trustees on his 80th birthday, represents the sum he had earmarked for the institution in his will. His gift echoes the advice of Andrew Carnegie, who advocated philanthropy within one’s lifetime.
“This final gift is a display of my confidence in the ability of the Museum’s leadership to successfully carry it into the future and sustain it as a permanent institution,” said Herzog.
In 2010, Herzog stepped down as Chairman of the Board and became Trustee Emeritus, making way for new leadership and a new class of Trustees poised to usher the institution into the future. Since then, the Museum has added 28 new Trustees and has greatly expanded its individual and corporate donor bases.
“We are extraordinarily grateful to John for his support of the Museum over nearly three decades,” said Chairman Richard Sylla. “However, like any non-profit institution, the Museum’s future depends on a broad commitment from a variety of donors, members and constituents.”
In addition to increasing the size and stature of its Board, the Museum has also engaged new audiences through enhancements to its educational and programmatic offerings. Many of its educational initiatives now focus on promoting personal financial literacy, which is lacking in both children and adults across nearly every segment of the population.
The Museum is always seeking increased participation from financial firms – both as donors and as programmatic partners – while serving as a neutral public forum for addressing topical financial issues and events. In the past two years, the Museum has presented more than 50 programs on a wide variety of current – and often forward-looking – topics, ranging from Bitcoin to IPOs to electronic trading.
In May the Museum’s Trustees hosted a reception to honor Herzog for his visionary gift. The event marked a symbolic moment in the Museum’s history, as its founder entrusts responsibility for the institution to the next generation of leaders and supporters.
More information about the Museum of American Finance can be found here.