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Stephen and Karen Kaufman

Boston, Massachusetts

  • October 22, 2013

Steve earned an MIT degree in economics and engineering in 1963 and an MBA from Harvard in 1965. He retired as chairman and CEO of Arrow Electronics and is now a senior lecturer of business administration at Harvard Business School. Karen had a successful marketing career in Manhattan before moving to Boston. She is now cochair of the Council for the Arts at MIT. The couple has traveled to six continents and 100 countries. “We want to see all the globe,” Karen says.

Stephen and Karen Kaufman

“I established a unitrust to support teaching and innovation because a unitrust is an effective way to make a gift to MIT and to preserve income for myself for life. The unitrust is invested in the MIT endowment, which I view as much safer than corporate bonds. In fact, one might argue that MIT will have a better credit rating someday than the U.S. government, plus a better yield, at 5 percent of the market value of the trust —and potential increases over time. The endowment invests in private-equity deals, real estate, venture capital funds, and hedge funds, some of which are not open to individuals like me, so it provides me with access and diversification. And when I invest in an institution like MIT, I’m comfortable that there’s a broad number of people involved in managing my money and someone’s always watching the ship.”

November/December MIT News cover
This story is part of the November/December 2013 Issue of the MIT News Magazine
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For information, contact Judy Sager: 617-253-6463; jsager@mit.edu. Or visit giving.mit.edu/ways/invest-endowment.

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