Matt Libien has a knack for keeping himself busy. The married father of three young adult sons lives in Tenafly and is a managing director at Wells Fargo in Paramus. A graduate of Boston University, Matt held various positions in financial firms, including Paine Webber, Smith Barney, and Wachovia (eventually merging with Wells Fargo). Matt has a unique expertise in helping people and charitable organizations achieve their long-term goals—sometimes with financial planning expertise, other times with good, old-fashioned hands-on volunteerism.
Over the years, he has coached his share of children’s sports teams and has gotten involved with various charitable non-profits along the way. He serves on the board of directors for the Community Chest, is a member and past president of the Fort Lee Rotary Club, and is a trustee of the Tenafly Educational Foundation. He is also a former board member and past treasurer of Temple Sinai of Bergen County in Tenafly.
Matt recently ran a golf outing fundraising event at the Edgewood Country Club in River Vale for the Community Chest. “The Community Chest is an umbrella charity which provides grants for other non-profits,” says Matt. “They also run nutrition-education programs in Englewood and offer continuing education for employees of non-profits.”
A networking contact introduced Matt to the Tenafly Educational Foundation, and he was invited to join before he even had kids in the school system. “That experience helped me to understand what’s going on in the schools,” says Matt. “The foundation raises money to provide grants for teachers to integrate tools and programs that are not normally funded by the state, such as iPads, drafting tables, or supplies to help enhance musical education, for example.”
Matt’s comprehensive community service history may have originated from growing up as a Boy Scout and eventually achieving Eagle Scout status as a teenager. “I was always doing volunteer and service projects,” he says. I was taught to help people and have always observed the Jewish concept, ‘tikkun olam,’ which translates to ‘repairing the world’--helping the world one step at a time. It’s always been a part of who I am.”
While in high school, he was introduced to the Rotary Club when he joined the Rotary’s Interact Club. He witnessed the outreach of the Rotary’s partnership with the Gift of Life organization, which brings children from around the world to the U.S. for lifesaving heart surgeries. It has a lasting effect on him. “Later in life, when someone invited me to visit the Rotary Club, I was already familiar with their good works. I eventually became president of that chapter,” he says.
As a certified financial planner, Matt works with multigenerational families, large net-worth clients, and small to medium-sized companies, providing investment, insurance, stock option, and retirement planning strategies. He also helps manage funding reserves for various homeowner associations.
It’s interesting to note how Matt’s passion for making a difference also comes through in his day-to-day profession. “Managing large amounts of money is another aspect of how I like to help people,” he says. “Whether people invest to reach a goal to help their family or to support a charity, it’s the same thing,” says Matt. “I enjoy making it possible for people and organizations to achieve that specific goal because it’s not always about dollars and sense. It’s about the big picture.”
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