March Madness isn’t just for small bets at the office. For some of the biggest names in business, it means big money. Big money for charity, that is.
Bloomberg brought together what they refer to as “a group of titans from the world of business and finance” to fill out March Madness brackets for its Brackets for a Cause initiative. Each of the participants has picked a charity and donated $10,000. When all is said and done, the total pot—upwards of $350,000 this year—will be divided between the charities of the three participants with the most accurate brackets.
This is the third year of Brackets for a Cause, and this year some newcomers are shaking things up.
William E. Ford, President and CEO of General Atlantic, is playing for Shining Hope for Communities, an organization that combats gender inequality and extreme poverty in urban slums by linking tuition-free schools for girls to holistic social services for all. So far, Ford is in 8th place, with a total score of 83 and 37 of 63 correct picks.
Tony Ressler, Chairman, CEO, and founder of Ares Management—and co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks—is playing for the Atlanta Hawks Foundation, whose mission is to increase access for metro Atlanta’s youth to play, grow, and learn life and leadership skills through basketball. So far, Ressler has 79 points, with 34 out of 63 correct picks
David Solomon, President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs, is playing for Room to Read, an organization working to transform the lives of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. At this time, Solomon has 77 points, with 34 of 63 correct picks.
Ken Moelis, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Moelis & Company, is playing for Minds Matter New York, whose mission is to help accomplished high school students from low-income families by preparing them for college success. Right now, Moelis is right behind Ford, with 83 points and 36 out of 63 correct picks.
“This is hugely exciting for us,” said Jason Kelly, Bloomberg Executive Editor. “This is the third year we’re doing this contest, and it’s amazing how many people really pour in to participate. The spirit of competition is alive and well on Wall Street.”
The current leader is Jeannie Buss, President and Part-Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, with 89 points and 39 of 63 correct picks. Defending champion Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, is back again, but he is trailing with 72 points and 33 of 63 correct picks.
To follow the action, visit Bloomberg’s Brackets for a Cause page.