Madoff Investor List released (Brandeis is sort of on it)

A former editor of the Justice pointed this out to us:

A list of investors and interested parties in the Bernie Madoff bankruptcy case has been released. Brandeis University, along with important donors like the Shapiros, are on the list.

At first glance, this would seem to indicate that the University did indeed invest with Madoff, contrary to claims by Pres. Reinharz to the contrary. But all listed parties might not have been directly affected. According to NY Times Dealbook,

The list includes anyone who responded to advertisements placed by the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of the firm. Not every name on the list is necessarily a victim of Mr. Madoff’s reputed $50 billion Ponzi scheme, but the list includes “everyone who might have an interest in the bankruptcy case,” according to a person briefed on the document.

Probably, Brandeis is one of those who “might have an interest in the bankruptcy case,” for the obvious reason that the richest members of our donor base were severely affected. But I’d like to have that verified, to clarify again that we were not directly invested with Madoff.


5 thoughts on “Madoff Investor List released (Brandeis is sort of on it)”

  1. Thanks for the note from Brandeis. That definitely clarifies things. I’ll update my note on Linkedin

  2. Cynic – Is this what you had in mind?

    Thanks for your email about Brandeis’s inclusion on the list that was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan in connection with the Bernard Madoff scandal.

    We believe Brandeis is on the list because we received gifts of securities from one or more donors from brokerage accounts they had established at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. Michael Swartz is listed next to Brandeis’s name because, in his then-capacity as University Treasurer, he was the Brandeis contact for such gifts.

    We routinely receive gifts of securities from donors’ brokerage accounts. It’s not unusual for the brokerage house to establish an account in Brandeis’s name to facilitate the transfer.

    I want to reiterate that no University funds were invested with Madoff.

    This was authored by Nancy Winship, the Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

  3. It’s a little tough to parse, but I highly doubt that Brandeis would be on the list simply because its donors are affected.

    the presence of Michael Swartz is the best clue. I suspect what we’re dealing with are Charitable Remainder Unitrusts and Annuity Trusts, or some similar vehicles. These are arrangements in which a donor sets aside some portion of funds that will eventually go to Brandeis. However, the donor retains control of how those funds are invested, and receives a steady stream of income during his lifetime or the lifetime of his designees. When there are no more beneficiaries, the funds are turned over to Brandeis.

    So the most probable explanation is that Brandeis per se did not place any funds with Madoff, but that one or more of its donors who had set aside funds had invested those funds with Madoff. That would give Brandeis, as the ultimate beneficiary, a legal claim on the proceeds of the bankruptcy proceeding, but still jibe with its earlier claim not to have placed any money itself with Madoff.

    But I’d still love to have this confirmed.

  4. I believe that the Development and Alumni Relations department frequently deals directly with the institutions holding donors’ monies to simplify large money transfers. This especially makes sense for planned giving where donors agree to regularly donate (sometimes automatically). This type of interaction would also be necessary for equity/bond/etc. donations to the university, which DAR accepts.

  5. As much as I love drama (and I do!), Brandeis was listed with Attn. to Michael Swartz, who is the Associate Vice President for Gift Planning. Based on that, I imagine that Brandeis is nothing more than an interested party due to the decline in donations.

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