Tiger Management founder Julian Robertson dies at 90

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Julian Robertson, the founder of Tiger Management and one of the most influential hedge fund managers of all time, has died aged 90.

Robertson achieved heroic status both for his track record with Tiger Management in New York during the early days of the hedge fund industry and for the dynasty of hedge fund traders known as the “Tiger cubs” he helped launch.

“He was a legendary investor himself,” said Dixon Boardman, chief executive of Optima Asset Management, who worked with Robertson at brokerage Kidder, Peabody & Co about 45 years ago before Robertson founded Tiger Management. “But perhaps his greatest legacy is that he has produced so many other legendary money managers.”

Robertson died Tuesday morning at his home in Manhattan from heart complications, his spokesman said.

Robertson’s Tiger Management beat the US market, a notoriously difficult feat, in 14 of the years between 1980 and 2000, aided by transactions such as shorting the copper price in 1996 and betting against the Thai baht the following year.

He started Tiger with $8 million in funds, according to his spokesman, and eventually built it into one of the world’s largest hedge funds with $21 billion under management. Robertson’s investors included Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone, who described him as “one of the few people in hedge fund history to have created a dynasty.”

In 1989, when Blackstone was a four-year-old company that had just raised $100 million from Japan’s Nikko Securities, Robertson visited the company’s small New York office, Schwarzman recalls.

“I enjoyed talking to him so much that I gave him all our capital,” he told the Financial Times. “It turned out that I had given the money to arguably the best money manager in the world at the time.”

By the time Robertson decided to return investment capital, the company had experienced a significant decline in assets as investors pulled out and performance slumped.

Nevertheless, Tiger had achieved an average annual return of more than 25 percent by the time it regained investor capital, although Robertson lost 19 percent in 1999 when he refused to embrace the dotcom bubble.

After that, Robertson, an active philanthropist who donated more than $2 billion in charity during his lifetime, continued to play a major role in the hedge fund industry, spawning a new generation of investors including Chase Coleman, Philippe Laffont and Lee Ainslie who later went on to make billions of dollars in profits. make for investors.

“Julian was a legendary investor and a generous mentor,” Laffont, founder of Coatue Capital, said Tuesday. “But above all, he was a person of extraordinary integrity—one who not only embodied what it meant to live a successful professional life, but who embodied the deepest love of the family, a humorous disposition in friendship, and a deep commitment to philanthropy. . ”

Ainslie, founder of Maverick Capital, said on Tuesday, “Julian has been a mentor and friend to so many people who strive to live up to his example as both a great investor and an extraordinary philanthropist.”

According to research by LCH Investments, nearly 200 hedge fund groups can trace their origins back to Tiger, either because the founder worked at the company, provided Robertson with seed capital, or because they were a so-called “grandcub” breaking away from alumni firms.

Those who knew Robertson attribute some of his company’s success to the influence of Dr. Aaron Stern, a psychoanalyst with whom he worked closely for many years and who died last year. Stern’s famous interview tests, consisting of about 450 questions, helped Robertson identify the best analysts to recruit.

Among Robertson’s more controversial tiger cubs is Bill Hwang, the trader who led one of Wall Street’s most spectacular explosions when his firm Archegos Capital Management imploded in early 2021.

In a rare interview with the Financial Times last year, Robertson described Hwang as “a good friend” who “made a mistake”. Hwang was arrested earlier this year on charges of US fraud.

Robertson’s influence on his protégés was enormous, and many adopted a similar investing style. His goal was to find the best 20 stocks to buy and the worst 20 to bet against. While valuations were important, it could often be secondary to a company’s position in an industry or barriers to entry.

That approach helped Coleman become one of the most successful hedge fund managers of all time, before being hit hard by this year’s sell-off. In a 20th anniversary letter to investors last year, Coleman, who named his firm Tiger Global in honor of Robertson’s influence, described his former boss as a “world-class mentor” and said many “Julian-isms” were still used on are sturdy.

“You took a chance on us early on, embraced us as part of the Tiger family and continuously supported us along the way,” Coleman wrote. “You showed us how the best investors think and invest.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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