At forty years old, John Arnold is one of the highest profiting hedgefund managers of all time. John and Laura Arnold are worth an estimated $4 billion dollars and plan on giving all of their wealth away to charity. After managing his fund out of Houston for several years before closing in 2012, one could look at his story and wonder if it was all some sort of diabolically genius plan to take from the rich and give to the poor.
John Arnold’s approach to philanthropy is different than many charitable billionaires. A month ago, he agreed to fund a $26 million study on obesity, after speaking with dozens of top experts to identify exactly what kind of study would provide specific, quantifiable results. He believes the right way to make major changes is through funding the best possible science and data projects, then shifting to putting pressure on policy makers to use the science to implement positive social change. In a world that is shifting to specific details in marketing and nonprofit interaction, The Laura and John Arnold Foundation chooses to focus on the big picture: research on criminal justice, education, and nutrition.