Firm made rapid-fire investments in startups for years, driving up valuations in some cases, but returns were impacted when the market abruptly shifted
Tiger Global Management is going through a major management change. Per a message from founder Chase Coleman sent this afternoon to investors of the 22-year-old venture- and hedge-fund investor, Coleman is taking over both the outfit’s public company investing and private equity businesses, while the longtime head of the latter, Scott Shleifer, becomes a senior advisor as of January 1, a role that is a full-time position with no end date, per a source with knowledge of the maneuver.
According to Coleman, the decision was made by Shleifer, largely because Shleifer and his family have “made their home in Florida and want to stay there.” Meanwhile, writes Coleman, “Tiger Global is operating in-person out of our New York offices,” and has “found that having everyone together in New York is highly productive and a better operating model for our firm.”
Tiger was founded by Coleman, a protégé of hedge fund pioneer Julian Robertson, in 2000. Shleifer joined two years later.
This is not the firm’s first major leadership change. In 2015, one of its investment heads, Feroz Dewan, left to set up his own investment firm, now called Arena Holdings Management, in New York.
Tiger’s private equity business was subsequently headed by Lee Fixel, who joined the firm in 2006 and stepped down to hang his own shingle in March of 2019. Fixel has subsequently raised a number of multibillion-dollar investment funds at that firm, called Addition.
After Fixel’s departure, Shleifer and Coleman continued as co-managers of the portfolios Fixel had overseen, with Shleifer taking over as its head. But he assumed control at what looks in retrospect to have proved a treacherous period for the firm. After announcing in January 2020 that Tiger Global garnered $3.75 billion in commitments for its 12th fund, Schleifer put the pedal to the metal, overseeing an operation that made bold bets made at a rapid-fire clip despite already heated valuations. For a time, investors were so happy with the strategy — which appeared to be working — that they awarded Tiger with a whopping $12.7 billion vehicle that it closed in March 2022 after just four months of fundraising.
The fund’s timing couldn’t have been worse. Driven by rising interest rates, public, then private, the broader market began to fall fast, and with it, Tiger’s largely paper returns. Indeed, though the firm began marketing its newest fund, Private Investment Partners Fund 16, to investors 13 months ago, with a $6 billion target, it has yet to close, per a source.
Per an earlier Bloomberg report, a surge in AI-related public stocks helped fuel a rebound for Tiger; a source says it has seen positive returns all year. Meanwhile, an early bet on OpenAI that looked one week ago like it could help salvage the firm’s private market returns is now in jeopardy, with ousted CEO Sam Altman reportedly in discussions to join OpenAI investor Microsoft and move much of OpenAI’s team into the corporate giant’s fold.
Per Coleman’s letter to investors, Shleifer will continue to “advise on our investing activities across the breadth of our private funds.” As part of the transition, Tiger Global is also “forming an Investment Committee for our Private Equity business, which I will chair, consisting of Evan Feinberg, Eric Lane, Griffin Schroeder, and Scott, that will support me in reviewing new investments and overseeing asset dispositions.”