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Hedge-Fund Pioneer Julian Robertson Jr. Has Died At 90

Julian H. Robertson Jr., a pioneering hedge-fund investor, died at the age of 90. For two decades, Mr. Robertson led one of Wall Street’s largest and highest-profile funds, Tiger Management LLC, scoring average annual gains of about 25%. Mr. Robertson trained and backed a number of successful managers who became known as “Tiger Cubs.”

Mr. Robertson suffered cardiac complications and died Tuesday in his home in Manhattan, according to his spokesman.

A native of North Carolina, Mr. Robertson served as an officer in the U.S. Navy before joining Kidder Peabody in 1957, becoming a director of the brokerage firm and running its investment subsidiary.

He left in 1978 and started Tiger in 1980, launching the firm with $8 million. The firm’s name derived from the term Mr. Robertson used for those whose name he couldn’t recall, according to Daniel Strachman, who wrote a biography of Mr. Robertson. In turn, staffers called Mr. Robertson “Big Tiger.”

Employing an approach that would become traditional for hedge-fund traders—buying inexpensive stocks with good earnings prospects while betting against expensive shares—

Mr. Robertson met early success. Tiger gained 54.9% in its first year and outperformed the overall market in most subsequent years. Over time, he invested in bonds and other markets, in addition to stocks. By the late 1990s, Mr. Robertson managed about $22 billion, emerging with George Soros and Michael Steinhardt as Wall Street’s most renowned hedge-fund traders.


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