By Rick Malwitz
Peter Jon Novello, who used knowledge gained as a successful businessman to provide financial guidance for schools, hospitals and community groups in Monmouth County, died Sunday at his home in West Windsor, Vermont.
“Peter’s investment skill was important to the board committee that oversaw our endowment,” said Paul G. Gaffney II, president of Monmouth University, where Novello served on the Board of Trustees before he and his family moved to Vermont.
“Moreover, he and his wife Renee were essential to the social cohesiveness of our board, and were instrumental in connecting the university to supportive friends in our region. The university mourns his passing and will miss his enthusiastic and encouraging manner,” said Gaffney.
“He was a wonderful family man, and a tremendous asset to the school in many ways,” said Chad Small, headmaster of the Rumson Country Day School.
This week flags were lowered to half-staff at the school, as a tribute to Novello who served on the board from 2002 to 2006.
“Peter was a great guy and a good friend when he lived in Rumson. He was generous and kind and supported the community extensively. I am saddened by his passing – and will miss him,” said Michael Gooch, owner of The Two River Times™.
He also served on the boards of The New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, The FoodBank, The Monmouth Conservation Foundation, Monmouth Medical Center and Monmouth Healthcare Foundation.
The 58-year-old Novello, a graduate of Rutgers University, was the founder of Far Hills Group, a financial services firm based in New York that he founded in 1990. Prior to its formation he was the vice president and director of marketing for Brookehill Equities Inc. in New York.
According to the Far Hills Group website, the company specializes in the placement of hedge fund and alternative investment offerings to institutional investors. Since its founding, it has placed in excess of $19 billion in more than 48 different investment vehicles.
In a statement the firm said, “We will deeply miss Peter; he was a trailblazer in the hedge fund business and founded a highly successful business.
“Peter had a unique combination of business acumen, a sharp wit, and leadership skills that set him apart. He was our partner and dear friend. A day will not go by that we fondly think of him and the good times we shared together,” the statement added.
Novello is survived by his wife Dr. Renee Johannensen Novello, a member of the faculty staff at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, Vt.
He is also survived by his children, Benjamin, Peter Ross, Phoebe and Stephen Flynn; his mother, Clementine of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; his brother, Benjamin of Tampa, Fla.; and his sister, Lori Cortese of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A funeral service was scheduled for Friday, Oct. 5, at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Chapel in Woodstock, Vt. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Cabot Funeral Home of Woodstock, Vt.
His family requested that memorial donations be made to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
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