Joel Schiffman, 61, is an American financier and fiancee of Today Show co-anchor Hoda Kotb. Hoda announced that the two had gotten engaged on The Today Show Monday morning after 6 years of dating.
“I have to tell you something that a friend of mine, a friend of ours, asked me to let you guys in on a secret,” Hoda told her fellow anchors. “I’ll give you her initials. Her initials are Hoda Kotb, and she’s engaged.”
Joel proposed over the weekend while the two were enjoying a tropical vacation in Mexico. Kotb told the story on the Today Show. “We ended up having a little dinner on the beach,” she added. “And he was like, ‘I have something else I would like to say,’ and he said some beautiful things, and then he got down on one knee,” Hoda said. “Then he said, ‘Would you be my wife?”’
Kotb told the Today Show that the proposal left her “totally shocked” because Schiffman “had a good poker face,” and wondered out loud how she should handle the announcement with her daughters. “”How am I going to explain (to the girls) your parents are going to get married? We’re still trying to figure out that part.”
Joel and Hoda have been together for 6 years after meeting at a Wall Street event that Kotb “didn’t what to go to”. She told Andy Cohen the story on a 2015 episode of “Watch What Happens Live” that “It was pouring rain. It was a bunch of Wall Street guys. I had to give a speech. They were bored…”
After the event, Kotb was signing a few autographs when Schiffman approached her. “I said, ‘Who should I write it to?'” she told Andy Cohen. “And he said, ‘How about to me?’ And I said, ‘How ’bout to you?'”
Kotb got Schiffman’s email address from Cohen and the two started dating shortly after. She has publicly gushed about Joel on the Today Show and in interviews ever since they first got together. Andy Cohen asked her 4 years ago if the two were getting married and Kotb responded “I’m going to be with Joel until my last breath.”
Joel Schiffman lives with Hoda and their two adopted children in New York City.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Joel Schiffman Has a Daughter From a Previous Marrian and Adopted Two Children With Hoda
Schiffman has a 23-year-old daughter, Kyle Schiffman, from a previous marriage. She is currently studying abroad in Paris, France. She is a private person who mostly stays off social media so not much else is known about her.
She’s apparently a fan of Hoda. In 2015, after stopping by The Today Show to visit Hoda in New York City, Joel’s daughter posted a message calling her “awesome.”
When Kotb met Schiffman, she wanted to have kids but was unable to conceive after surviving a bout with breast cancer. She was unsure if Joel wanted more kids and told Wendy Williams that she was nervous asking him. “I always wanted to have a child, and I wondered if Joel did, too,” the talk show host revealed. “I went to Joel and I said to him, ‘I need to discuss something with you and it’s really important,’ and I said, ‘And I want you to not answer me now. I want you to marinate, I want you to take a week … take as long as you need.'” She shared that she wanted to adopt a child together, and he swiftly responded, “‘I don’t need a minute.'” That’s when Kotb said she, “knew I’d chosen the right man.”
Hoda adopted their first daughter, Haley Joy Kotb, in 2016 and their second daughter, Hope Catherine, in 2019.
“You know what’s funny? You think that you’re full. That’s exactly how I felt with Haley and Joel and everything.” She explained on the Today Show earlier this year, “Joel and I were standing there when they hand you the baby, and it’s the closest thing to a live birth you’ll ever see, but in that moment I was like, ‘Oh my God, my heart just grew.'”
2. He Played Rugby at UCLA
According to his LinkedIn profile, Joel was a member of the UCLA rugby team. He’s still a big fan of the team and publicly supports them on Twitter.
“On wonderful feeling on a Sunday morning. More than ever, it’s a UCLA town after Bruins pummel USC, 38-20” he said back in 2014. He retweets the UCLA Rugby team account and also follows professional rugby according to content on his Twitter feed.
In addition to rugby, he’s a fan of American football and baseball (his favorite team is the Chicago Cubs).
3. He Uses Twitter to Vent His Travel Frustrations
Joel isn’t a very active Twitter user, he’s tweeted 30 times since 2013, but when he does use the platform most of the time it’s to vent his travel frustrations and call out airlines.
Three times in the past year he’s had issues with United and made it known on Twitter. “United Airlines providing just another reason to switch allegiances…..” He wrote in January of this year “4 hour delay and the audacity to blame weather. #united #poorcustomerservice”
He had trouble again in June 2018, tweeting “How is that a 6am flight can have a maintenance problem? It’s not like the plane hasn’t been here all night and I’m sure the part didn’t become bad while the plane sat here. #unitedairlines #poorperformance again.” Then again in November when he said “And another United flight that’s late. It’s become the norm and has nothing to do with weather. #united.”
He caught United’s attention once who responded to him, saying “Joel, your frustrations are heard. Sometimes, these circumstances are unforseen. Could you please send over the flight number so we can take a closer look? ^AT”
Aside from his angry travel tweets, Joel also talks about sports.
4. He Has a Net Worth of $19 Million
Schiffman has had a long and successful career in finance which has netted him a sizable fortune of $19M, according to Comparilist. He’s currently Head of US Defined Contribution and Insurance Sales at Schroder Investment Management.
Before that, he was Vice President & Director, Financial Institutions Janus Henderson Investors U.S. He made his fortune from being a Wall Street executive for almost a decade.
5. He Almost Never Met Hoda
Joel and Hoda met with a little help from Joanne LaMarca Mathisen, the executive producer of Today with Hoda & Jenna.
“My husband actually made Hoda go to (the event where she met Joel), I did not, for the books,” Mathisen said on Today in June. “She saw Joel and thought he was really sweet and fun, and he was a friend of a friend of mine, and Joel happened to think Hoda was sweet and fun.”
She reluctantly agreed and the rest is history.