NET WORTH: $4.3 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Founder, Tiger Management
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Environment, Medical Research, Religion and Spirituality, Poverty
OVERVIEW: In 1989, Julian Robertson, Jr. started the Tiger Foundation, an organization that remains active today thanks to the tight-knit family of former Tiger employees and colleagues. In 1996, Robertson and late wife Josie established the Robertson Foundation to begin allocating the family's assets to US based grantees. He also launched his third charitable organization, The Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation (BJRFF), named after his parents. This foundation operates independently to improve quality of life in Robertson's birthplace of Salisbury, North Carolina. In retirement, the Giving Pledge signatory has committed himself to giving away most of his money to help others through grants for education, the environment, and medical research. He has also shown a commitment to help the people in sub-Saharan Africa fight poverty.
BACKGROUND: Julian Robertson is the retired manager of hedge fund Tiger Management. For over a decade, Robertson has been investing directly in other hedge funds, particularly those managed by “Tiger Cubs”--former traders and managers at Tiger Management. Retirement has also given Robertson the freedom to become an active philanthropist and benefactor. In 2010 he signed Warren Buffett and Bill Gates’s Giving Pledge, committing the majority of his wealth to charitable causes and donating a recorded $354 million from 2004-2008.
HEALTH: The Foundation gave $27 million to the New York Stem Cell Research Foundation in 2010, following a $10 million individual donation from Robertson himself.
ENVIRONMENT: Robertson has supported a wide range of environmental organizations, including EarthJustice, the National Parks Conservation Association, the World Resources Institute, and the Southern Environmental Law Center. Most of his funding in this area—over $31 million—went to the Environmental Defense Fund. Recently, climate change has become an important issue for Robertson as well.
EDUCATION: In late 2015, Robertson donated $3.5 million to his alma mater, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The Robertson Foundation also has its Reform from Within and Drive Change by Generating External Pressure initiatives, as well as Robertson's support for the New York City Charter School Center.
LOOKING FORWARD: As an individual, Robertson's philanthropic reach is broad. He has a soft spot for National Parks, military families, and the obesity epidemic. He sits on the board of the Aotearoa Foundation, and the Robertson Scholars Program. Friends have drawn him into public policy and he once funded lobbyists to help pass an influential auto emissions bill. The environment is an increasing concern for the aging donor. Above all, Robertson believes in "giving where it counts."
The Robertson Foundation, 101 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10178,