A report in The Wall Street Journal that Julian Robertson is mulling a "seeding" fund or a fund of hedge funds for outside investors is intriguing. After all, there are clearly more Tiger Management alums — also known as cubs — than descendents of any other hedge fund firm. And for the past decade, Robertson has seeded several dozen up and coming managers, taking a piece of the action in exchange for providing rthe managers with some of his own capital and access to his friends and firm’s infrastructure.

Having the word Tiger at the beginning of your fund’s name is not too bad either.

Robertson’s timing, however, may not be that great. Ironically, this year many of the Tiger cubs — especially many of the most famous and largest — are struggling and are among the worst-performing hedge funds in what has been a volatile year for investors in general. They include long-short equity funds such as Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Capital, which was down about 4.7 percent through June 30 and Lee Ainslie’s Maverick Capital, off 3.3 percent through July 2.

Stephen Mandel’s Lone Cypress, his long-short fund, was off about 3.6 percent while Lone Cascade, his long-only fund, was down about 4.6 percent. Sources say Mandel’s longs did pretty well on a relative basis but he was hurt by short positions in economically sensitive stocks. Keep in mind that Mandel is typically 40 to 60 percent net long and that his long-short funds typically have the same long portfolio as Lone Cascade.

One Tiger cub even scaled back his operations in the first half. Steven Shapiro’s Intrepid Capital Management shut down all of its funds except for its flagship fund after being down 4.5 percent through April. Through May, Intrepid Enhanced, a small fund, was down 12 percent. According to reports, Shapiro, who covered tech stocks for Tiger for four years, came into the year bullish on tech and large caps. He blamed his problems this year on short sales and his stock selection in general.

One of the worst-performing Tiger cubs is Millgate International’s James Lyle. The Brit global value investor, who grew up in Hong Kong, was down 10.3 percent in the first half of the year. Lyle, who co-founded his firm in 1997 with Martin Woodcock, was a Managing Director of Tiger Management from 1993 to 1997.