Daniel Och: The Wizard of Oz (Management, That Is)
Financial wizardry is built upon a foundation of hard work, dedication, and one more often ignored element: charity. Fortunately, Mr. Daniel Saul Och embodies all of these qualities, and much more.
As the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, often shortened to Oz Management, Daniel Och has combined the terms “generous” and “hedge-fund manager” in a way that few individuals ever have. With a net worth of $3.1 billion at age 57, Mr. Och never hesitates to donate his personal wealth to a worthy charitable cause.
At Oz Management, Daniel Och runs a hedge fund firm that oversees $32 billion in assets; with a diverse global investor base, the firm offers a range of complex products across the multi-strategy, credit, and real-estate domains. Daniel and Oz Management utilize a highly qualified contingent of investment professionals across North America, Europe, and Asia to identify strong risk/reward opportunities and navigate changing market conditions.
His life’s story begins in New Jersey, where Daniel Och grew up. Upon earning a B.S. in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Daniel spent 11 years at Goldman Sachs, starting out in the risk arbitrage department and eventually landing the roles of head of proprietary trading in the equities division and co-head of U.S. equities trading.
In 1994, Mr. Och founded Oz Management with the help of an investment from the Ziff brothers: Dirk, Daniel, and Robert. By 2013, Daniel Och was named one of the 25 highest-earning hedge-fund managers of that year by Forbes.
Along with his leadership role at Oz Management, Daniel Och participates as a board member or trustee at a number of organizations: he is on the boards of the Robin Hood Foundation (a charitable organization fighting poverty in New York City) and The Museum of Modern Art, and is a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation.
In addition to donating his time, Daniel Och is ever-ready to give to charitable causes: for instance, Daniel and his wife, Jane Och, have donated a $15 million gift to the Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union (now known as Golda Och Academy), and have given millions of dollars to the UJA Federation of New York and Birthright Israel – and all of that is in addition to charitable donations facilitated by the couple’s own Jane and Daniel Och Family Foundation.
When it comes to balancing the pursuits of making money and giving it away, Daniel and Jane Och have set the standard for others to follow. For his firm and for the philanthropic community, Daniel Saul Och is, indeed, the Wizard of Oz.