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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 
John N. Bennett
Counsel
 
425 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017 
 
Email:
Phone: +1-212-455-3723
Fax: +1-212-455-2502

John Bennett is Counsel in the Firm’s Exempt Organizations Department. John advises endowed universities, foundations, hospitals, cultural institutions and other institutional investors in connection with investment activities, including in the review and negotiation of documentation relating to investments in private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, energy and other natural resources funds, hedge funds, managed accounts, funds-of-one and similar investment vehicles, as well as in secondary market transactions involving the purchase and sale of interests in such investment vehicles. In addition, he represents public charities and private foundations in connection with impact investments and mission- and program-related investments. John also advises public charities and private foundations on structural and operating issues, including formation, governance, mergers, reorganizations, domestic and international grantmaking and taxation.

John is a regular speaker on topics of interest to tax-exempt organizations and institutional investors and has presented on various topics at the American Bar Association Business Law Section’s Institutional Investors Committee, the International Grantmaking Symposium, the Practicing Law Institute, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the annual Georgetown conference on Representing & Managing Tax Exempt Organizations, among others. John is the co-author, with David A. Shevlin, of chapters entitled “Tools for Direct International Grantmaking: Expenditure Responsibility,” and “Tools for Direct International Grantmaking: Equivalency Determination,” in the International Grantmaking Handbook, published in 2018 by Charity Channel Press.

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Work Highlights
  • An endowed institution in connection with a $200 million-plus secondary sale of interests in the institution’s investment portfolio
  • Two private foundations in connection with a program-related investment in an innovative program to finance forest restoration as a means of decreasing the risk of wildfires
  • A private foundation in connection with a program-related investment loan to a company providing financing to solar power vendors in off-grid areas in Africa and India
  • Several major endowments and private foundations in connection with the establishment of securities trading accounts in China
  • CNO Financial Group, Inc. in its investment in Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC
  • Airvana Network Solutions Inc. in its sale to Ericsson Inc.
  • Vodafone in its $130 billion sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon
Accolades
  • Pro Bono Publico Award, The Legal Aid Society (2013)
Education
  • Columbia Law School, 2008 J.D.
    James Kent Scholar, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Tufts University, 2001 B.A.
    Thesis Honors
Associations
  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, Exempt Organizations Committee
  • New York City Bar Association, Committee on Non-Profit Organizations (2013-2016)
  • Global Impact Investing Network/ISLP Legal Practitioners Group (2015-2017)
Admissions
  • New York 2009

John Bennett is Counsel in the Firm’s Exempt Organizations Department. John advises endowed universities, foundations, hospitals, cultural institutions and other institutional investors in connection with investment activities, including in the review and negotiation of documentation relating to investments in private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, energy and other natural resources funds, hedge funds, managed accounts, funds-of-one and similar investment vehicles, as well as in secondary market transactions involving the purchase and sale of interests in such investment vehicles. In addition, he represents public charities and private foundations in connection with impact investments and mission- and program-related investments. John also advises public charities and private foundations on structural and operating issues, including formation, governance, mergers, reorganizations, domestic and international grantmaking and taxation. John works regularly with sponsoring organizations of donor-advised funds, grantmaking private foundations and “American Friends of…” organizations regarding governance, compliance with tax law and grant structuring. John also has significant experience in the area of lobbying and advocacy by nonprofit organizations. John participates in a number of Simpson Thacher’s pro bono efforts, including serving in the leadership of the Firm’s biennial Election Protection call centers and regularly working on matters involving incorporating and obtaining tax exemption for small nonprofit organizations.

John is a regular speaker on topics of interest to tax-exempt organizations and institutional investors and has presented on various topics at the American Bar Association Business Law Section’s Institutional Investors Committee, the International Grantmaking Symposium, the Practicing Law Institute, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the annual Georgetown conference on Representing & Managing Tax Exempt Organizations, among others. John is the co-author, with David A. Shevlin, of chapters entitled “Tools for Direct International Grantmaking: Expenditure Responsibility,” and “Tools for Direct International Grantmaking: Equivalency Determination,” in the International Grantmaking Handbook, published in 2018 by Charity Channel Press.

John is a member of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association’s Tax Section and a former member of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Non-Profit Organizations and the Global Impact Investing Network/ISLP Legal Practitioner Group. John also was a long-time board member of the Public Interest Law Foundation at Columbia Law School.

Prior to his legal career, he worked in grantmaking and in compliance at the Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund. John received his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2008, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He received his B.A. from Tufts University in 2001.

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