Julian Robertson Jr.
Founder and Chairman
Tiger Management Corp.
Few if any managers have had a more profound impact on the hedge fund industry than Julian Robertson Jr., the founder of famed Tiger Management Corp. A brilliant investor in his own right, Robertson built one of the most successful hedge fund firms of all time. Starting with just $8 million in 1980, Robertson grew Tiger to more than $20 billion in assets under management at its height in 1998, before deciding to close its doors to outside money two years later. Tiger’s compounded annualized returns were an astounding 25 percent over the firm’s 20-year life.
But Robertson’s greatest legacy may be his unparalleled talent for finding and mentoring investment talent. The so-called “cubs” — analysts and traders who got their start at Tiger and have since gone on to found their own firms — are among the most influential hedge fund managers in the world. They include Blue Ridge Capital’s John Griffin, Lone Pine Capital’s Stephen Mandel Jr., Maverick Capital’s Lee Ainslie III and Viking Global Investors’ O. Andreas Halvorsen. The trend continues today with the Tiger “seeds,” firms launched with Robertson seed money and support. The Tiger seed network includes many of the most talented managers in the business, including Charles (Chase) Coleman III of Tiger Global Management and Sung-Kook (Bill) Hwang of Tiger Asia Management.
A North Carolina native who graduated with a degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Robertson moved to New York after a two-year stint in the Navy. He began his Wall Street career as a sales trainee with Kidder, Peabody & Co., eventually going on to head its asset management business before leaving to found Tiger. Robertson’s hands-on, sometimes combative management style influenced the early years at Tiger. But he inspired loyalty, as well as instilled an investment discipline and integrity among his troops. Robertson, who continues to trade successfully for his own account, has always believed that the best and the brightest benefit when they share ideas. Countless investors, including many of the U.S.’s top family offices, university foundations and endowments, have enjoyed the fruits of Robertson’s efforts, first by putting their money in Tiger and then by investing with the Tiger cubs and seeds.
The 77-year-old Robertson has also had a major impact on the hedge fund industry’s commitment to philanthropy. The Robertson Foundation, which he and his wife, Josie, founded in 1996, has more than $1 billion in assets. Speaking to Institutional Investor in June 2008, Robertson said he was most proud of the influence that the Tiger Foundation, which he established in 1989, has had on the cubs, many of whom have gone on to create similar philanthropies. The Tiger Foundation provides grants and training to non-profit organizations that help New York’s neediest families.
Julian Robertson and other Hedge Fund Industry Awards winners will be honored at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City on Monday, June 21, 2010.