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How Wilshire Phoenix Gives Back

New York-based investment firm Wilshire Phoenix Capital provides structuring, advisory and investment management across the capital spectrum to a wide range of clients, and is generating buzz not only for its main line of businesses, but also because it gives 10% of all of its profits to charity.

Founded by Bill Herrmann, Wilshire Phoenix currently works with five organisations; the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, The Christopher J Morrissey Foundation, Help For Children, A Leg to Stand On and Hampshire College. Each organisation is something Herrmann feels passionate about and each was selected deliberately.

“These five organisations that Wilshire works with each resonate with me personally, and all were chosen based on their vital missions and their exceptional results. They work to change to change lives for the better.”

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society provides free services which address some of the critical needs of people with MS and their families. Herrmann likes how NMSS gets involved with its patients personally and works to heighten awareness and promote a greater understanding for those diagnosed with the illness.

Bill Herrmann
Wilshire Phoenix's Bill Herrmann

“It’s not a foundation that raises money and only sends it to a research facility and crosses their fingers. MS is such a debilitating disease that it’s necessary to be involved more personally to help. How they create awareness and connect those suffering with MS with each other and to their wider communities is truly extraordinary.”

The Christopher J. Morrissey Foundation is a lesser known foundation which operates in and around central New Jersey, where Herrmann is originally from. It provides grief support, scholarships and counselling services to those who have lost a child. The foundation also partners with other organisations to promote early drug and alcohol awareness through vital programs and training sessions aimed at underprivileged youth.

“I was introduced to the [Christopher J] Morrissey Foundation’s founder through a mutual acquaintance and immediately ‘got it’. Their focus is not solely on bereaved parents of younger children, the organisation also serves parents of all ages. Which makes so much sense to me since losing a child, regardless of age, is heart-breaking.”

Wilshire’s donations to the Christopher J Morrissey Foundation help fund the organisation’s mission and annual benefit gala.

Those in the alternative investment industry will be more familiar with Help For Children, also known as Hedge Funds Care, based in New York. Wilshire Phoenix is a sponsor of HFC’s upcoming ‘HFC Rocks’ concert on 18 October in New York. According to Herrmann, however, it’s about more than just donating money.

“My team and I stand ready to help HFC in every way possible, including rolling up our sleeves. If HFC needs us to move boxes or help set the stage for HFC Rocks at the Hammerstein Ballroom we will be there.”

Giving back is something so integral to the company’s core values that Herrmann discusses it whilst recruiting. Wilshire recently named Garrette Furo as CIO and Partner, and during that process, made sure that Furo was aligned with Wilshire’s overall vision.

“It [Wilshire’s philanthropy] is one of the first things we discussed. When initially meeting with Garrette, we had the conversation around what charitable causes are important to him, and we’ve already added to the causes our firm supports.”

On top of the 10% of profits that Wilshire shares with its partner charities, the program includes initiatives like paid time off to perform volunteer work, and a company employee matching charitable donation plan. As the company grows, it will continue to support additional organisations that align with Wilshire’s mission.

Herrmann’s desire and drive to give back to those less fortunate is rooted in his upbringing; his mother taught children with autism for much of her professional career, and his father, a business owner, would donate to the Make A Wish Foundation regularly. In addition his stepfather, a veteran, understood the importance or serving others. Herrmann is determined to continue their legacy.     

“Giving back is in my DNA,” says Herrmann. “And for everyone in the financial industry, and any industry for that matter, it’s the right thing to do.” 

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