Ben Kovler, CoFounder IFK & Beneficiary Leadership on Stage

Our Founders

Invest For Kids was co-founded by Ron Levin and Ben Kovler in 2009 after attending the Ira W Sohn Investment Research Conference in New York for many years and being inspired to bring this concept to Chicago.

When Ron & Ben formed Invest For Kids, they had three goals in mind. First, assemble the most highly regarded investment managers to present their best ideas and current views. Second, bring the Chicago investment community together annually. And third, provide support for underprivileged children in Chicago with an emphasis on smaller organizations where the giving would be more impactful.

Ron is a Managing Director in the Private Wealth Management group at Goldman Sachs. Ben co-manages investments for his family office and family foundation.

Ron Levin & Ben Kovler, CoFounders of Invest For Kids

Our Team

Jamie Carmell, Executive Director
Invest for Kids

Joseph and Nancy Essex
Essex Two Branding

Ryan Erwin

Barbara Wolf, Dir of Charitable Giving
Invest for Kids

Sim Elwood & Logan Shunmugam
Creative Technology

Brooks Gruemmer & Raam Jani
McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Gina Rosanova, Brian T. Burke
Kovler Family Office

Charley Rucks
Production Services

Geno Byrnes
Evo Productions

Andrea Dawkins
West Family Investments

Hourglass Films


Jessie Harrison
Goldman Sachs

Brook Furniture Rental

Advisory Committee

Mark Anderson

Bradley Bass
Morgan Stanley PWM

Brian Black
LAMB Partners

Wood Chatham
Clean Plate Restaurants

Jessica Chu
GEM Realty Capital

Clint Coghill
Backstop Solutions Group

Stacy Devine

Lance Donenberg
Evanston Capital Management LLC

Dan Drexler
Longview Asset Management

Clay Drury

Michael Elrad
GEM Realty Capital

Brian Feltzin
Sheffield Asset Management

Ryan FitzSimons
Diameter Capital

Jennifer Flandina
Equity International

Bill Friend
Core Capital Management LLC

Dan Gordon
Gordon Management

Scott M. Hasley

Todd Hamilton
Bolder Capital

Lauren Hamlin
Merit Capital Partners

Ben Hockenberg
Arise Capital

Jeremy Joseph
GCM Grosvenor

Matt Koenig
Ernst & Young

Devi S. Koya
Koya Law LLC

Katie Launspach
Legal & General

Barry Levin
Alliance Global Partners

Ari Levy
Lakeview Investment Group

Adam Lieb
Fidelity Investments

Kate Lindberg
Sawdust Investment Management Corp.

Jim Litinsky
JHL Capital Group

John McCarthy
Centaur Capital Partners

Russ Miron
FNY Capital

Peter Murphy

Jason Perlioni
Johns Hopkins University

Michael Resnick
Tallwoods Partners

Randy Rochman
West Family Investments

Jordan Park
Partner Fund Management

Jennifer Rosenblum
Mesirow Financial

Scot Ruhlander
One Design-AIS

David Scherer
Origin Investments

Brian Schmucker

Janelle Ibeling
Sidley Austin LLP

llan Shalit
Consolidated Trading

Dave Stafman

Jason Sussman
The Pritzker Organization

Brian Wolf

Daniel Zuckerman
Zuckerman Investment Group

Our Charitable Approach

Invest For Kids Beneficiaries Learning Computer Skills

We target smaller organizations where we believe our gift can have the highest impact. The operating budget for these organizations is typically $1-3 million and, as such, our gift can have a material influence on the number of children served.

In its first 10 years, Invest For Kids has supported 60 organizations with gifts of $150,000-$225,000 each. Our donation is often the largest single gift these organizations have received and, in many cases, our gifts have served to further endorse the organizations, enabling them to attract additional large donors.

Our process entails an initial screening of applicants, often in consultation with experts in the not-for-profit community, to narrow the applicant pool. Our diligence efforts are thorough and focused on a qualitative and quantitative understanding of each organization we consider. We look for strong leadership, a dedicated board, measurable results and scalability.

Our process entails an initial screening of applications to narrow the applicant pool. We then conduct thorough, on-site visits with the organizations’ leadership followed by reference and fact checking to ultimately determine our 7 annual recipients. In our first ten years, we have reviewed over 550 organizations and conducted over 130 due diligence meetings.

If you are interested in learning more about Our Charitable Approach, please contact our Director of Charitable Giving, Barb Wolf, at


Invest For Kids wishes to express its sincere gratitude and appreciation for the support of the following individuals and organizations who have given $25,000 or more.

Our 2017 & 2018 Supporters

Anchor Bolt Capital, L.P.
Balyasny Asset Management
Best Portion Foundation
The Bluhm Family Charitable Foundation
DRW Trading Group
Barbara & Ira Eichner Foundation
Eminence Capital, LP
Jim & Karen Frank
Jon and Mindy Gray
GCM Grosvenor
Keeley Family Foundation
Kovler Family Foundation
The Malkin Family
The Pritzker Organization
Satter Foundation
The SB Wolf Family Foundation
West Family Investments
Zuckerman Investment Group


We would also like to give special thanks to those who have given $25,000+ since our conference inception in 2009.

Our Cumulative Supporters

Achievement Asset Management


Backstop Foundation

Balyasny Asset Management LP


Best Portion Foundation

Bill Bass Foundation


The Bluhm Family Charitable Foundation BTIG

The Citadel Group Foundation

Citi Private Bank

Colliers International Consolidated Trading

Copia Capital

Crown Family and Longview Asset Management

Deutsche Bank

The Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust

Kent & Liz Dauten, Keystone Capital Inc

DRW Trading Group Foundation

Barbara R. & Ira A. Eichner

Eminence Capital/Mara & Ricky Sandler

Fidelity Prime Services

Sandy & Rick Forsythe

Jennifer Fortner, Pamela Kendall-Rijos & Corey Harris

Jim & Karen Frank

GCM Grosvenor

GEM Realty Capital

Goldman Sachs

Jim & Dan Gordon

Gorter Family Foundation


Todd M. Hamilton, Bolder Capital LLC

David Herro

JHL Capital Group LLC

The Jordan Family Office

J.P. Morgan

Karen & Matt Kaplan

Patrick J. Kelly

Kinney Asset Management

Kovler Family Foundation

Lakeview Investment Group & Trading Company LLC

Longview Asset Management

Magnetar Capital Foundation

The Malkin Family

Man Investments


MB Investments LLC

Mesirow Financial Investment Advisory/Advanced Strategies

Merit Capital Partners

Monticello Associates

Wendy & Hank Paulson

Pershing Square Capital Management LP

The Pritzker Organization

Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation

Rail-Splitter Capital Management

The Robbins Family Foundation

Satter Foundation

Senator Investment Group LP

Sheffield Asset Management

David & Leslie Storch

Steven Tananbaum, GoldenTree Asset Management

Trian Fund Management LP

Walsh Construction Company

Walton Street Capital LLC

Dr. Amy Weiler & Floyd Dillman

West Family Investments

William Blair

William Harris Investors

Helen Zell

Tucker York

Zuckerman Investment Group

If you are interested in learning more about our sponsorship opportunities, please contact our Executive Director, Jamie Carmell, at