Legendary investor Julian Robertson has handed away — however left behind many highly effective mentees – TechCrunch

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His hedge fund traders didn’t wish to hearken to him when, in 1999, Julian Robertson questioned the sanity of the costs being paid for shares in nascent web firms. So months after being berated for quarter-hour at an annual shareholders assembly on the Plaza Resort in New York in October 1999, he started the method of closing up his store. “There isn’t a level in subjecting our traders to threat in a market which I frankly don’t perceive,” he reportedly wrote to them in March of 2000. “After thorough consideration, I’ve determined to return all capital to our traders, successfully bringing down the curtain on the Tiger funds.”

In April 2000, the tech market started to implode.

His good timing solely cemented the legend of Robertson, who simply handed away at age 90 of cardiac problems, in response to his spokesman, however who, till he was 67, led Tiger Administration, one of many largest, highest-profile, and best-performing funds within the 70-year-old hedge fund business.

One needn’t look far to understand his lasting influence. Whereas Tiger Administration reportedly boasted common annual beneficial properties of greater than 30% for the 20 years it was up and working, the large spate of funding managers who lower their tooth as a part of Robertson’s 200-person group has turn into practically as legendary. Among the many many hedge funds run by individuals who labored with Robertson — they’re famously often called “Tiger Cubs” — are Tiger World, Lone Pine, Coatue Administration, Viking World, D1 Capital and Pantera Capital, and that’s only a sampling.

“In a bizarre method, Julian Robertson touches trillions of {dollars} of property below administration as a result of there are such a lot of individuals who labored for him straight [or] not directly,”  Daniel Strachman, creator of Julian Robertson: A Tiger within the Land of Bulls and Bears, instructed the Monetary Occasions last year.

Unsurprisingly, Robertson’s mentees communicate glowingly of him, as an investor, in addition to a philanthropist. Along with Robertson’s personal family foundation, and Tiger Foundation, a nonprofit that claims it has supplied greater than $250 million in grants to organizations working to interrupt the cycle of poverty in New York Metropolis, Robertson in 2017 signed the Giving Pledge, which asks individuals to offer at the least half of their wealth away.

A type of protégés is Coatue founder Philippe Laffont, who spent three years working for Robertson earlier than hanging out on his personal in 1999 with a reported $45 million that, in contrast to Robertson, he promptly started plowing into tech shares. (Laffont misplaced cash on the downturn the next yr, however navigated his method via it.)

Coatue — a crossover fund named after a beach off the coast of Nantucket — has gotten squeezed once more this yr by the downturn in each private and non-private tech shares. Nonetheless, Coatue had grown its property below administration to just about $60 billion by the tip of final yr, and Laffont seemingly credit Robertson for a few of that success.

“Julian was a legendary investor and a beneficiant mentor,” mentioned Laffont in an announcement despatched to TechCrunch this morning. “He did a lot good on the planet, and so usually when no person was wanting,” wrote Laffont. “All of us really feel lonelier with out him right here. He leaves a wonderful legacy that so many people will proceed to hunt to dwell as much as. I take into account myself lucky to have had his friendship and mentorship in my life.”

One other of Robertson’s well-known mentees is Chase Coleman, who labored as an funding analyst at Tiger Administration for practically 4 years earlier than the hedge fund wound down. Coleman, who launched Tiger World Administration the next yr, in 2001, additionally credit Robertson for a lot of the profession he has loved.

In an announcement despatched to TechCrunch earlier at the moment, Coleman writes: “Julian was a pioneer and an enormous in our business, revered as a lot for his skills as an investor as for the integrity, honesty, loyalty and competitiveness he demonstrated as a pacesetter. He made the time to be a real mentor, at all times main by instance and pushing all of us to turn into the most effective variations of ourselves.  For that and for his friendship, I’m without end grateful. He will likely be dearly missed, however his influence on me and numerous others, in addition to the numerous communities he touched via his philanthropic efforts, will endure.”

Like Coatue, Tiger World is a crossover fund that has more and more invested in personal tech firms in addition to publicly traded ones. Like Coatue, it has additionally had a relatively tough 2022, owing to the market’s breathtaking zigs and zags. (In equity, the identical is true of many outfits, together with Viking World, whose founder, Andreas Halvorsen, as soon as traded equities at Tiger Administration and, like Laffont, struck out on his personal, with Viking, in 1999. His flagship fund is on monitor for its worst year ever, Bloomberg reported final month.)

Certainly, it’s straightforward to surprise what Robertson — whose success tied to purchasing underpriced shares with good earnings prospects — considered these cubs’ aggressive strikes into late-stage privately held tech firms, significantly on condition that a few of them had been paying any value final yr, and driving valuations sky excessive within the course of.

If Robertson did ever query their varied approaches, he by no means mentioned so publicly. Even when Archegos Capital Administration — the household workplace of one other protégé, Invoice Hwang — all of a sudden collapsed in spectacular fashion final yr (Hwang was charged with massive fraud by the SEC in April), Robertson got here to Hwang’s protection in a uncommon interview with the FT, telling the outlet final summer time: “Invoice is an efficient good friend, and I do know Invoice nicely. I believe he made a mistake and I count on that he’s popping out of it and he’ll go proper on.”

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