Non-profits, museums, and hedge funds: Here are the groups that have cut ties with the Sackler family over the opioid crisis

Getty ImagesMortimer Sackler and Jacqueline Sackler attend the Guggenheim International Gala on November 9, 2006. Mortimer and his brother Raymond co-chaired the company that developed OxyContin.
  • The Sackler family amassed a $US13 billion fortune from Purdue Pharma, which owns OxyContin.
  • The family has been accused of fuelling the opioid epidemic because of how Purdue marketed OxyContin.
  • Many institutions including universities and hedge funds are now cutting ties with the family.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

The Sacklers, the billionaire family that controls Purdue Pharma, has been accused of fuelling the opioid epidemic because of its handling of the drug OxyContin. About 2,000 lawsuits have been filed against Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers nationwide.

While the family has denied any wrongdoing, many institutions have reconsidered monetary gifts from the Sacklers. Before the lawsuits, the family cultivated a philanthropic image, giving gifts to museums and universities across the world.

Now, many of those institutions are walking back their connections with the family. In addition, funds that managed the family’s fortune and nonprofits the family was involved in have taken steps to dissolve ties. Members of the Sackler family have also left board positions at a number of nonprofits.

It’s reportedly taken a toll on the family, who has amassed as much as $US13 billion through Purdue Pharma.

“This situation is destroying our work, our friendships, our reputation and our ability to function in society,” wrote Jacqueline Sackler to her lawyers, advisers, and in-laws, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“And worse, it dooms my children. How is my son supposed to apply to high school in September?”

Here’s a list of institutions that have distanced themselves from the family.


1. New York Academy of Arts and Sciences

Kathe Sackler and Mortimer D.A. Sackler, the son of the company’s founder, are no longer on the board of the New York Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Academy was home to the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science.


2. The National Portrait Gallery

In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty ImagesAn exterior landscape of the classic architecture of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, central London. Founded in 1824, the gallery houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.

London’s National Portrait Gallery will not accept a pledge for $US1.3 million from members of the Sackler family, saying that taking the donation would be a distraction for the museum.


3. Balter Capital Management

AP PhotoThe Sackler family amassed its fortune through Purdue Pharma.

A small Hedge Fund in Boston is giving back more than $US90 million from the family, the Wall Street Journal reported. Brian Balter, the founder of Balter Capital Management, made the decision to return the money, which made up a majority of the fund’s $US150 million assets under management.


4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Maurizio De Mattei/Shutterstock

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art said that it would cease accepting gifts from the Sackler family, the New York Times reported. A wing of the museum bears the family name and houses the Temple of Dendur, one of the most popular attractions at the Met.


5. Hildene Capital Hedge Fund

Jessica Hill, File/AP PhotoIn this Aug. 17, 2018, file photo, family and friends who have lost loved ones to OxyContin and opioid overdoses leave pill bottles in protest outside the headquarters of Purdue Pharma.

Hildene capital hedge fund forced the Sackler’s to begin redeeming their investments in Hildene, the Wall Street Journal reported. The fund said that a person known to the fund had suffered an opioid-related tragedy, which led management to cut ties with the Sackler’s. The fund has about $US10 billion assets under management.


6. The Guggenheim Museum

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty ImagesAn exterior view along Fifth Avenue May 14, 2009 of the Guggenheim Museum in New York as the museum marks its 50th anniversary with an exhibition ‘Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward’. The building itself was designed by Wright.

Mortimer D.A. Sackler left the board of the Guggenheim in 2018 after serving on it for nearly two decades, according to the Wall Street Journal. The museum also said that it does not plan to accept further gifts from the family


7. Columbia University

In February, Columbia University said that it wouldn’t accept any further donations from the Sacklers. The school’sSackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology was funded by the family.


8. The Tate Group

The Tate Group, which controls four museums in London including the Tate Modern, said that it would not accept further gifts from the family.


9. The Hastings Center

One of the members of the Sackler family left the board of the Hastings Center, a bioethics institute after the board discussed the opioid crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported.


10. The South London Gallery

Getty ImagesThe South London Gallery.

The London gallery returned a £125,000 (around $US165,000) gift from the family last year. The board voted to do so to protect the gallery’s reputation.

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