In his heyday, Julian Robertson, Jr. led his Tiger investment firm into becoming one of the world’s largest hedge funds, with capital exceeding $23 billion, and growing at 31.5% between its founding in 1980 and its closing in 2000. In addition to its success, Robertson was responsible both directly and indirectly for helping start many of today’s best hedge funds, often by empowering former “Tigers.”
Recognizing the “great force for the world” the investors at Tiger could be, Robertson decided to apply this knack for creating new hedge funds to start the Tiger Foundation, a foundation intended to make philanthropists out of his employees and ultimately lead to new foundations. Of the Tiger Foundation, aimed at serving New York city’s neediest families, he says: “Give talented people the opportunity and they will make the most of it.” Indeed, over time, it has exceeded Robertson’s expectations and spawned a number of new foundations.
Robertson’s philanthropic interests extend beyond the activities of the Tiger Foundation to his small-town roots in Salisbury, NC, and the collective interests of his family. Creating foundations for each of these, his giving portfolio consists of three foundations: the Blanche and Julian Robertson Foundation, named for his parents and benefitting his hometown, the Robertson Foundation, primarily covering environment and medicine, and the Tiger Foundation.
Through these foundations Robertson’s giving has spanned many causes, from stem cell research to spirituality, and become a significant part of his life. “I’m happy to have it there,” says Robertson, who feels that the opportunity to make even a little difference is “fabulous.”More Remarkable Givers
- Advised by experts: Julian Robertson, Jr. packs his board with top minds in education, the environment and medicine
- A reproducing foundation: Julian Robertson, Jr.’s Tiger Foundation has spawned several offshoots
- Bullish on improving K-12 education: Julian Robertson, Jr. says Americans are demanding the best for kids
- Fabulous impact: Julian Robertson, Jr. says philanthropy has taken over his life for the best
- Fighting obesity: Julian Robertson, Jr. seeks answers for an increasingly overweight America
- Giving where it counts: Why Julian Robertson, Jr. donated his art collection to a museum in New Zealand
- How can you accommodate multiple philanthropic interests? Julian Robertson, Jr. goes with three foundations
- How one child launched Julian Robertson, Jr.’s stem cell research support
- How Tigers make decisions: Julian Robertson, Jr. and the Tiger Foundation put decisions about which organizations to support a vote
- Leadership that creates leaders: How Julian Robertson, Jr. empowered “creative philanthropists”
- Leadership traits: Julian Robertson, Jr. seeks those with a “real desire to help their fellow man”
- Leaders matter in medical research: Julian Robertson, Jr. bets on two eminently qualified medical-research scientists
- Making philanthropy strategic: How Julian Robertson, Jr. shifted away from ad hoc giving
- On board with the Giving Pledge: Why Julian Robertson, Jr. signed
- One difference between environmental and educational giving: Why Julian Robertson, Jr. thinks people are underestimating environmental threats
- Philanthropic upbringing: How growing up in a small town has influenced Julian Robertson, Jr.’s giving
- Preparing the next generation of philanthropists: Julian Robertson, Jr. supports foundations set up in perpetuity
- Turning investors into philanthropists: How Julian Robertson, Jr.’s Tiger Foundation produced effective philanthropists
- When money isn’t the answer in philanthropy: Julian Robertson, Jr. on helping pass one of California's toughest emissions law
- Why start philanthropy young? It gives you time to make mistakes and get up the learning curve, says Julian Robertson, Jr.