30 Little Known Facts About Julian Robertson Jr. You Probably Never Knew


Julian Robertson Jr., founder of the investment firm Tiger Management Corp., which is one of the earliest hedge funds, is known to have helped pioneer the modern day hedge fund industry. He, till date, has given away around 20 percent of his net worth to charitable causes including medical research, charter schools, and environmental protection. Here are some interesting facts about the American investor and hedge fund manager:

  1.  He, along with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, signed the Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half his wealth to philanthropic causes.
  2.  He was often considered as the “Wizard of Wall Street,” during the 1980s and the 1990s, having earned the best hedge fund record during that period.
  3.  His Tiger Management Corp, which is now defunct, became the largest hedge fund in the world, and held that position for several years, due to its incredible growth.
  4.  He became the worldwide leader in hedge funds with his company Tiger managing more than $7 billion in assets by the year 1996.
  5.  He was inducted into Institutional Investors Alpha's Hedge Fund Manager Hall of Fame along with Steven Cohen, George Soros, James Simons, David Swensen, Jack Nash, Seth Klarman, Louis Bacon, Alfred Jones, Bruce Kovner, Kenneth Griffin, Leon Levy, and Michael Steinhardt and Paul Tudor Jones.
  6.  He is the founder and benefactor of the Robertson Scholars Program, a merit scholarship program providing 36 students of Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with four-year full-tuition, room, and board, and travel funding, each year.
  7.  In the 2010 New Year Honours, he was appointed an Honorary Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for his contributions to business and philanthropy.
  8.  He donated art valued at $115 million to the Auckland Art Gallery in the year 2009, which was reportedly the largest donation of art in history for Australasia.
  9.  He is credited with turning just $8 million in start-up capital in the year 1980 into over $22 billion in the late 1990s. However, it was followed by a fast downward spiral, plunging from $23 billion to just $6 billion by 2000.
  10.  His style of investment has often been described as very difficult and highly personal for the average investor, as it is not easily adaptable to his or her own purposes.
  11.  Julian Hart Robertson Jr., was born on June 25, 1932 to Julian Hart Robertson Sr., and Blanche Spencer, to Salisbury, North Carolina, US. His father was a textile company executive.
  12.  He went to Episcopal High School, before graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the year 1955, following which he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy for two years.
  13.  He moved to New York City, and worked as a stockbroker with Kidder, Peabody & Co, for a period of time, before becoming the head of the firm's asset management division - Webster Securities.
  14.  He took a year off in the year 1979, when he moved to New Zealand with his family, to write a novel. Upon his return, he started the Tiger Management Corp., with initial investments from friends and family, in the year 1980.
  15.  BusinessWeek published a cover story titled "Fall of the Wizard," on their April 1, 1996 edition, which was very critical of Robertson's performance as the founder and manager of Tiger Management Corp.
  16.  He sued the reporter Gary Weiss, as well as BusinessWeek, for $1 billion, citing defamation. However, the suit was settled with no money changing hands, while BusinessWeek stood by the substance of its reporting.
  17.  In the year 1998, the Tiger funds reached a peak of $22 billion in assets. The management accurately predicted the Tech Bubble and a year later eliminated virtually all investments in this segment.
  18.  He is known to have consistently refused to buy into the internet bubble, underweighting the sector due to the overpricing of technology securities in comparison to their earnings and earning potential.
  19.  At that time, the company's largest equity holding was U.S. Airways, which actually dragged down the entire value of his holding with all its troubles. This led to him closing his investment company in March 2000.
  20.  Robertson distributed 24.8 million greatly devalued U.S. Airways shares to former Tiger investors in September 2001, but declared that he will hold onto his stock in the airline.
  21.  Following the closing of Tiger Management Corp in 2000, he supported and financed upcoming hedge fund managers, in return for a stake in their management companies.
  22.  The analysts and managers he employed at Tiger Management, is now running some of the best-known hedge fund firms like Viking Global Investors, Blue Ridge Capital and Coatue Management, collectively called as "Tiger Cubs."
  23.  It was reported that he and his wife Josie, had gifted around $27 million to the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a private research institution, in an effort to fund its research in May 2010.
  24.  He donated $1.25 million to Restore Our Future, a Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, in January 2012.
  25.  He also reportedly gave $1 million to a Super PAC supporting Jeb Bush's presidential candidacy, in the year 2015.
  26.  Till date, Robertson is said to have donated over $30 million to Success Academy Charter Schools in New York, with the largest donation being $25 million in April 2016.
  27.  Over the years, he has gained a reputation as a macro trader, following global trends, but with focus on a “smart idea, grounded on exhaustive research, followed by a big bet.”
  28.  He married Josephine Tucker in the year 1972 and has three children with her. Josephine dies on June 8, 2010, at her residence, after a long fight against breast cancer.
  29.  He is an active investor and developer in New Zealand, owing three lodges - Kauri Cliffs Lodge, Matakauri Lodge Queenstown and The Farm. He along with his wife, developed two golf courses and also own several wineries.
  30.  He has three sons - Spencer Robertson, Jay Robertson and Alex Robertson. He currently resides in Locust Valley, New York, though is often known to visit all his properties in New Zealand, which is now being managed by his second son Jay Robertson.
  31.  Julian Robertson Jr., Net Worth: $4.3 Billion

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