Who is Julian Robertson
Julian Robertson, known as the “Father of Hedge Funds” and the “Wizard of Wall Street” is a legendary investor. He is best known for founding Tiger Management in 1980. Robertson closed the doors at Tiger in 2000 and has since been active in mentoring younger hedge fund managers, and philanthropic ventures focusing on higher education and medical research.
BREAKING DOWN Julian Robertson
Julian Robertson was born in Salisbury, North Carolina in 1933 and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1955. Following two years in the Navy, Robertson joined the New York office of Kidder, Peabody, & Co. as a retail broker in 1957. He climbed the firm’s ranks and eventually took the helm of its asset management division, known as Webster Securities. Robertson departed Kidder, Peabody for a year-long sabbatical in New Zealand in 1979.
While in New Zealand, Robertson hatched the idea for a new fund. He founded Tiger Management, one of the first hedge funds, upon his return to New York in 1980. Robertson used initial assets believed to be approximately $8 million. Tiger’s assets grew to $22 billion over the next two decades. The success of the fund is credited to Robertson’s ability to identify investment opportunities within the framework of a global macro trading strategy. In the late 1990s, Robertson was also known for his avoidance of tech investments during the buildup of internet stocks in the late 1990s. This avoidance was a double-edged sword for Tiger Management. The fund performed well during the eventual collapse of the tech bubble but suffered from a drain of capital as investors took their money to Silicon Valley.
Julian Robertson in the 21st Century
Robertson liquidated the Tiger fund in 2000 following a period of poor performance. He wrote that Tiger’s success had been based on a rational approach to valuation and trading and that this strategy had proven less effective alongside the irrational growth of internet stocks. In the years that followed, Robertson focused his efforts on mentoring a slate of up-and-coming hedge fund managers known as the “Tiger Cubs.” Prominent members of this group include John Griffin of Blue Ridge Capital, Ole Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global, and Steve Mandel of Lone Pine Capital.
Robertson has been active in philanthropic activities since turning away from fund management. He founded scholarships at his alma mater and Duke University and committed to The Giving Pledge, a campaign launched by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Robertson has also been active in New Zealand, purchasing a handful of luxury lodges throughout the country.