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Tiger Global’s Coleman Up 10 Percent

After his fund dropped 26 percent in 2008 and 1 percent in 2009, Tiger Global's Chase Coleman has recovered nicely.

Tiger Global's Chase Coleman is clearly back on track. After dropping 26 percent in 2008 and 1 percent in 2009, the Tiger Cub/Seed has recovered nicely. His fund is up 10 percent through the first quarter of this year, much better than the widely followed indices, after climbing 18 percent last year.

As a result, Coleman — who was managing roughly $5 billion at year-end--is close to reaching his high water mark. Coleman won’t comment.

According to investors, in 2008 he was hurt by his focus on equities, including tech. In 2009, Coleman’s lousy performance was due to his dour macro outlook. However, his firm is said to have gotten back to its traditional roots and strengths as stock guys and away from macro-driven investing.

According to regulatory filings, at the end of the fourth quarter, Coleman was one among a group of hedge funds that counted Apple as its number one holding. His next three largest holdings were media stocks — Viacom, DirecTV and Liberty Global. In fact, most of his top-10 holdings were either media or internet stocks, although he did trim his holdings in most of these stocks during that period.

For example, other top holdings included Mercadolibre, a major e-commerce company in Latin America, Priceline and Amazon. Coleman also is said to be the number one investor in emerging markets internet-related companies. His largest new position in the December period, however, was Visa.

Unlike many hedge fund managers who have moved away from making illiquid investments after being burned in 2008, Coleman is comfortable investing in private companies. Private equity-like investments are said to slightly above 10 percent of the fund. Among his lucrative holdings are privately-held Facebook and LinkedIn.

He also reportedly paid $10 million for a 40 percent position in, a Russian Internet ticket booking website.

In fact, in February he reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that he had met his goal of raising $1.25 billion for Tiger Global Private Investment Partners VI, L.P., his sixth venture capital fund.

Coleman joined Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management as a technology analyst after graduating from Williams College with an economics degree in 1997. In 2001 he started Tiger Technology — now called Tiger Global — a long/short equity fund that was one of the first hedge funds seeded by Robertson, who retained an equity interest in the fund.

Coleman was the youngest of the group at the time. By the end of 2007, Tiger Global, had grown to more than $6 billion, with a seven-year annualized return of about 44 percent.

Coleman, 35, came from old money. He grew up Charles Payson Coleman III in the village of Old Brookville on Long Island’s North Shore and is a member of the Payson family, which at one time owned the New York Mets. He is also a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor of New York who built the “wall” on Wall Street. His 2005 wedding at Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Fla., which was attended by 370 people, was featured in the society pages.

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