Leon G. “Lee” Cooperman is the chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, Inc., a New York-based investment firm. In September 2016, Cooperman and Omega Advisors were charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC charged that Omega Advisors purchased securities in Atlas Pipeline Partners based on “material nonpublic information,” and alleged that Cooperman used his status as a top shareholder to obtain the confidential details. Cooperman told CNBC that the charges are “without merit.”
Leon Cooperman started his career in finance after earning his MBA in 1967. He spent his first twenty two years at Goldman Sachs in Investment Research Department. In 1989, Cooperman became chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. In 1991, after twenty five years in Goldman Sachs, Leon Cooperman retired from his positions as a general partner of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and as chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management to found Omega Advisors, Inc. Omega had approximately $3.4 billion under management as of December 31, 2016.
Leon Cooperman was born in 1943 to working-class Polish immigrants. Cooperman was the first in his family to earn a college degree. He graduated from Hunter College and later received his MBA from Columbia in 1967. After graduating Hunter College, he worked at Xerox as a quality control engineer.
Leon Cooperman was #204 on Forbes 400 list in 2016 with an estimated net worth of $3.1 billion. He met his wife Toby in a French class while he attended Hunter College. Cooperman is known as James Brown of hedge funds – the hardest working man in the industry. According to CNBC, Leon Cooperman has taken only one two-week vacation in his entire career. “If you ask me what I enjoy the most about vacation, it’s coming home,” Cooperman joked.