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John Bennett

Senior Counsel, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP


John Bennett is Senior Counsel in Simpson Thacher’s Exempt Organizations Practice. John is Co-Head of, and manages the day-to-day oversight of, the Group’s Endowment Advisory Practice. John advises endowed institutions and family offices in connection with investment activities, including in the review and negotiation of documentation relating to investments in closed-end and open-end funds, managed accounts, funds-of-one and similar investment vehicles, as well as in secondary market transactions. 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, and works regularly with sponsoring organizations of donor-advised funds, grantmaking private foundations and “American Friends of…” organizations regarding governance, tax compliance and grant structuring. John also has significant experience in the area of lobbying and advocacy by nonprofit organizations.

John is a regular speaker on topics of interest to tax-exempt organizations and institutional investors, and has spoken on various topics at the American Bar Association Business Law Section’s Institutional Investors Committee, the International Grantmaking Symposium, Representing & Managing Tax Exempt Organizations, and at events hosted by the Practising Law Institute, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Nonprofit New York and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, among others. John is the co-author of two chapters in “Cross-Border Giving: A Legal and Practical Guide.”

John received his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2008, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

What do you foresee as the most important development in international grantmaking in the next 5 years?

I expect to see continued growth in cross-border giving, coupled with an increased focus on KYC/AML compliance. I also hope to see grantmakers seek to streamline and simplify processes for grantees (e.g., online reporting systems).

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