Julian Hart Robertson Jr.
June 25, 1932
|Alma mater||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|Occupation||Hedge fund manager and philanthropist|
|Net worth||US$4.4 billion (November 2019)|
Josephine Tucker Robertson
(m. 1972; her death 2010)
Julian Hart Robertson Jr.  is an American billionaire hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. Now retired, Robertson invests in other hedge funds, mostly those run by former employees of his own defunct hedge fund company, Tiger Management. The so-called Tiger cubs manage around 50 of the world's top hedge funds, including Stephen Mandal's Lone Pine, Andreas Halvorsen's Viking, Rob Citrone's Discovery Capital Management, Philippe Laffont of Coatue Management, Lee Ainslie of Maverick Capital and Chase Coleman of Tiger Global Management. He is a signatory of The Giving Pledge.(born June 25, 1932)
Robertson founded Tiger Management, one of the earliest hedge funds. Robertson is credited with turning $8 million in start-up capital in 1980 into over $22 billion in the late 1990s, though that was followed by a rapid downward spiral of investor withdrawals that ended with the fund closing in 2000.
In 1993, his compensation and share of Tiger's gain exceeded $300 million. His 2003 estimated net worth was over $400 million, and in December 2017 it was estimated by Forbes at $4.1 billion. Robertson said in 2008 that he shorted subprime securities and made money through credit default swaps. The following year, according to Forbes, Robertson's return on his $200 million personal trading account was 150 percent.
Early life and education
Robertson is the son of Julian Hart Robertson Sr., a textile company executive, and the former Blanche Spencer. He graduated from Episcopal High School in 1951 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1955. While at Chapel Hill, he was admitted to Zeta Psi fraternity. He then served as an officer in the U.S. Navy until 1957.
After leaving the Navy, Robertson moved to New York City and worked for a time as a stockbroker for Kidder, Peabody & Co. At Kidder, he eventually headed the firm's asset management division (Webster Securities) before departing to move with his family to New Zealand for a year to write a novel. On his return, in 1980 Robertson launched Tiger Management with initial investments from friends and family.
On April 1, 1996, BusinessWeek carried a cover story written by reporter Gary Weiss, called "Fall of the Wizard", that was critical of Robertson's performance and behavior as founder and manager of Tiger Management. Robertson subsequently sued Weiss and BusinessWeek for $1 billion for defamation. The suit was settled with no money changing hands and BusinessWeek standing by the substance of its reporting.
The Tiger funds reached a peak of $22 billion in assets in 1998. Robertson's Tiger Fund accurately predicted the Tech Bubble, purposely underweighting the sector due to the overpricing of technology securities in comparison to their earnings and earning potential. So, though Tiger underperformed the S&P 500 in the short term, the fund accurately predicted the underlying flaw in the market. "The proportion invested into technology stocks by Tiger Management, for example, a well-known value-manager, is low. In 1999 Tiger eliminated virtually all investments in this segment. This is consistent with the widely reported refusal of Julian Robertson, manager of the Tiger Fund, to buy into the internet bubble."
Tiger's largest equity holding at that time was U.S. Airways, whose troubles dragged down the value of his holdings. Such missteps ultimately led him to close his investment company in March 2000 and return all outside capital to investors. Tiger earlier made $2 billion in gains but then gave most of them back during a huge one-day move in the yen in 1998. In September 2001, Robertson distributed 24.8 million greatly devalued U.S. Airways shares to former Tiger investors. Robertson declared his intent to hold onto his own stock in the airline.
After closing his fund in 2000, Robertson kept his hand in the hedge fund business by supporting and financing upcoming hedge fund managers (38 in total as of September 2009), in return for a stake in their fund management companies. Apart from those, many of the analysts and managers Robertson employed and mentored at Tiger Management, including Chris Shumway, Lee Ainslie and Ole Andreas Halvorsen went out on their own and are now running some of the best-known hedge fund firms, called "Tiger Cubs". These include funds such as Viking Global Investors, Tiger Legatus, Tiger Veda, Blue Ridge Capital, JAT Capital Management, Tiger Global, Maverick Capital, Coatue Management, Nehal Chopra's Tiger Ratan Capital Fund NA among others.
Robertson is the founder and benefactor of the Robertson Scholars Program which awards a merit scholarship that provides four-year full-tuition, room, and board, and travel funding for 36 Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students each year.
He also is active as an investor and developer in New Zealand, where he spends some time. His family owns three lodges: Kauri Cliffs Lodge near Matauri Bay in Northland; Matakauri Lodge Queenstown; and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay, as well as several wineries. Robertson was appointed an Honorary Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to business and philanthropy, in the 2010 New Year Honours. In 2009, it was announced that Robertson would donate art valued at $115 million to the Auckland Art Gallery. The donation included works by Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Salvador Dali, Georges Braque, Andre Derain, Fernand Leger, Pierre Bonnard and Henri Fantin-Latour and was the largest of its kind in Australasia.
In May 2010 the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a private research institution, received a $27 million gift from Robertson to fund its research. Josephine Tucker Robertson, wife of Julian Robertson, died 8 June 2010 after a long fight against breast cancer.
In January 2012 Robertson donated $1.25 million to Restore Our Future, a Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. In 2015, Robertson gave $1 million to a Super PAC supporting Jeb Bush's presidential candidacy. In April 2016, Robertson gave $25M to Success Academy Charter Schools in New York.
Legacy and awards
In 2008, he was inducted into Institutional Investors Alpha's Hedge Fund Manager Hall of Fame along with Alfred Jones, Bruce Kovner, David Swensen, George Soros, Jack Nash, James Simons, Kenneth Griffin, Leon Levy, Louis Bacon, Michael Steinhardt, Paul Tudor Jones, Seth Klarman and Steven A. Cohen.
- Julian Robertson - Forbes, Forbes.com. Accessed May 2015.
- "Julian H. Robertson Jr". NNDB. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
- "Julian Robertson – Start With Management & Avoid REIT's".
- Jennifer Karchmer (March 30, 2000). "Tiger Management closes". CNNMoney.
- Tiger's Julian Robertson Roars Again, Brian O'Keefe, Fortune Senior Editor, Jan. 28, 2008
- Julian Robertson: A Tiger in the Land of Bulls and Bears, Daniel A. Strachman, Published by John Wiley and Sons, 2004, ISBN 0-471-32363-2
- Associated Press (November 4, 1997). "Digital, corner newsstands go head-to-head: Question of timing in magazine publishing goes to court". The Fresno Bee. p. D14.
- Garigliano, Jeff (June 1, 1997). "Steep libel claims raise concerns". Folio: The Magazine for Magazine Management. Cowles Business Media Inc. p. 19.
- Kelly, Keith J. (December 18, 1997). "Money Aside, Manager Settles Suit". New York Daily News. p. 78.
- "Corrections". New York Times. January 7, 1997.
- Reilly, Patrick M. (April 4, 1997). "Investor files papers signaling intent to sue Business Week for $1 billion". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones.
- "Business Week Agrees to Settle Libel Suit Brought by Investor". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones. December 18, 1997.
- Pogrebin, Robin (November 3, 1997). "Publication Date Open to Dispute In Internet Age" (Newspaper article). New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
- Truell, Peter (December 18, 1997). "The Media Business; Investor Settles Libel Suit Against Business Week" (Newspaper article). New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
- Weiss, Gary (April 1, 1996). "Fall of the Wizard". Business Week. McGraw-Hill. Archived from the original (Magazine article) on December 16, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
- Loth, Richard, "The Greatest Investors: Julian Robertson", Investopedia, retrieved 2015-11-19
- "Investing Diary; Left Holding the Bag On US Airways Stock", by Laurence Zuckerman, September 23, 2001
- - list of 38 Tiger Seeds and 32 Tiger Cubs
- "The Tiger and His Cubs," New York Times, July 30, 2012
- Copeland, Rob, "Hedge-Fund Prodigy Takes a $300 Million Hit", Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2015. Earlier in 2015, Chopra became 'one of the few women to manage more than $1 billion in an industry long dominated by men'. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
- Vardi, Nathan, "Nehal Chopra Runs Circles Around The Boys With Top Performing Hedge Fund", Forbes, July 24, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
- Clark, Andrew (4 August 2010). "US billionaires club together – to give away half their fortunes to good causes". The Guardian. London.
- "New Year Honours: Full 2010 list". The New Zealand Herald. 31 December 2009.
- Herrick, Linda (9 February 2009). "Picassos among $115m gift to Auckland". NZ Herald. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
- Hedge-Fund Founder Bolsters Stem-Cell Research with $27 million Gift, The Wall Street Journal, 14 May 2010
- Josie Robertson dies Archived 2010-06-12 at the Wayback Machine, Salisburypost.com, 9 June 2010
- "Pro-Romney 'Super PAC' Spent $14 Million in January". The New York Times. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- "Long Island News Campaign Finance". Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "Million-Dollar Donors in the 2016 Presidential Race". New York Times. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- Campanile, Carl (12 April 2016). "Charter school network lands $25M donation from hedge fund". New York Post. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
- Taylor, Kate (12 April 2016). "Success Academy Charter School Network Receives $25 Million Gift". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
- "Cohen, Simons, 12 Others Enter Hedge Fund Hall". Institutional Investor. Institutional Investor LLC. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
- Rowe, Frederick (September 16, 1991). "'The best instincts in the jungle.' (money manager Julian Robertson)". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. p. 78.
- The Greatest Investors - Julian Robertson
- Strachman, Daniel A. Julian Robertson: A Tiger in the land of Bulls and Bears. New York: Wiley, 2004
- Tiger's Julian Robertson Roars Again — Fortune/CNN Money, 1/28/08
- The Ultimate Guide to Tiger Cubs and Tiger Seeds — Fundville, 3/30/10
- Video: Julian Robertson on Tiger Cubs and Tiger Seeds (hedge funds financed by him) and his estates in New Zealand — Opalesque FIVE Minutes, 11/19/09