Tiger's Robertson is back with new seeding fund

Tue Apr 5, 2011 3:47pm EDT

* Robertson's Tiger Accelerator Fund raising new funds

* Hopes to raise $450 mln, Robertson committed $230 mln

BOSTON, April 5 (Reuters) - Hedge fund industry legend Julian Robertson is offering outsiders a chance to invest alongside him for the first time in more than a decade through a new seeding fund, two people familiar with the matter said.

The new portfolio, the Tiger Accelerator Fund, is the culmination of Robertson's long mulled plans to return to an industry he dominated for years as head of Tiger Management, one of the world's largest fund firms which shut down in 2000.

Now, the septuagenarian investor is coming back not as a stock picker but as a nurturer of talent, having committed $230 million of his money to six hedge fund managers he knows well. The new portfolio, which is being marketed by Morgan Stanley, expects to raise a total of $450 million and close sometime this summer, said the people who were not allowed to discuss the private fund publicly.

Robertson's spokesman declined to comment on the matter.

Known for having built one of the industry's biggest family trees by having helped three dozen newly minted managers launch, Robertson selected the Tiger Veda, Cacabel, Long Oar, Tiger Eye, Tiger Ratan and Teewinot funds for the new seeding portfolio. All of these funds have all been in business for some time, allowing this seeding fund to distinguish itself from many rivals by pointing to the managers' existing track records. Most seeding funds bet on newly minted managers who cannot yet point to any longer term returns.

In January, Robertson wooed back Gil Caffray as his chief investment officer and last summer he hired John Townsend as his operations chief and promoted his son, Alex, to managing partner all in preparation for this new phase of his business.

Tiger established itself as one of the industry's best-ever firms by delivering average annual returns of 30 percent in funds whose assets peaked at $22 billion in 1998.

While several outsiders said they expect Robertson's name to be a selling point for the new fund, some said they wonder whether these so-called Tiger cubs will be able to replicate Robertson's own out-sized returns.

Over the years Robertson's commitments have helped launch the careers of Maverick Capital's Lee Ainslie, Lone Pine's Stephen Mandel and Viking Global Investors Andreas Halvorsen. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Bernard Orr)