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Distinguished alumnus Renbrook School
Renbrook School 2020-2021 Distinguished Alumnus Putnam Coes ’80

R. Putnam Coes III ’80

Renbrook honored the 2020-2021 Distinguished Alumnus R. Putnam Coes III ’80 during our virtual Alumni Night on Thursday, April 8, 2021.  

Lisa Lazarus ’94, past Alumni Executive Committee member and current Corporator, presented the award on behalf of Renbrook School and the Alumni Association. Lisa remarked that like so many Renbrook graduates, Putnam credits the dedication of Renbrook’s faculty and the enduring friendships he formed here as important in his later development. She said: “Even before he began attending the school in seventh grade, he came to Renbrook with his mother, who was an assistant physical education teacher. Both his brother and sister attended Renbrook as well. If his attendance at Renbrook wasn’t already predestined, his fate was surely sealed with the help of his next-door neighbors, John and Arlene Buckey. As a longtime faculty member, Mr. Buckey proved instrumental in shaping and supporting Put’s educational experience and his life.” 

A member of Renbrook’s Board of Trustees from 2005 until 2013, Putnam is currently a Corporator. He has served on the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees since 2007, acting as Committee Chair since 2013. In her remarks, Lisa cited his wisdom and his calm and collaborative spirit as hallmarks of his demeanor. He has, she said, “expertly guided our endowment through multiple market environments. His service has made a lasting impact on Renbrook’s financial stability and vitality.” 

Tom Sargent ’73, longtime Board and Investment Committee member says, “Putnam isn’t just smart. He’s humble; he’s a person of integrity. This award is out of character for him. He is not someone who seeks recognition. He thinks about longer term solutions for the school; in this sense, he is a classic philanthropist. He’s here to make a difference.” 

Lisa concluded, “Renbrook students of today continue to benefit from this beautiful campus, the dedication of faculty and staff, and the care and compassion of its community. They are encouraged to take risks and to be courageous, resilient, and innovative so that they may become leaders in their communities and workplaces. Putnam exemplifies what it means be a Renbrook graduate.” 

Putnam Coes is a graduate of Brooks School and Trinity College. He spent four years in Washington, DC, working for President George H. W. Bush. He then attended the Yale School of Management, where he earned an MBA, and later Harvard Business School. Putnam spent eight years at Morgan Stanley & Company as Director of Strategy and as Chief Operating Officer of several of its businesses. In 2006, he became a partner at Paulson & Company, a large hedge fund, where he spent ten years. He is currently chairman of Motley Fool Investments and is a partner in the private equity firm LL Funds, in Philadelphia. 

Putnam lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Amy, and two daughters. Piper attended Milton Academy and Germantown Friends School and is a freshman at the University of Virginia, and Persi is finishing her eighth-grade year at Germantown Friends.