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 the 22-year-old firm’s limited partners, 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 a senior advisor, a role that is a full-time position with no end date, per a source with knowledge of the maneuver.
An active venture- and hedge-fund investor, Shleifer has led the firm’s private equity business since March 2019, when its then head, Lee Fixel, stepped down to hang his own shingle. Fixel has subsequently raised a number of multibillion-dollar investment funds at that firm, called Addition.
At the time, Shleifer and Coleman continued as co-managers of the portfolios Fixel had overseen, with Shleifer taking over as its head. But he took over at what looks in retrospect to have proved a treacherous period for the firm. After announcing in January 2020 that the firm had garnered $3.75 billion in commitments for its 12th fund, Schleifer, despite already heated valuations, put the pedal to the metal, overseeing an operation that made bold bets made at a rapid-fire clip. For a time, investors were so happy with the strategy that they awarded Tiger with a much larger fund, a $12.7 billion vehicle that it closed in March 2022 after what was reportedly a four-month fundraising process.
The fund’s timing couldn’t have been worse. Driven by rising interest rates, the public, then private, market began to fall steadily, 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.
This story is developing, but you can read Coleman’s letter to investors below.
We are writing to let you know that Scott Shleifer has decided to transition his role at Tiger Global to Senior
Advisor, effective January 1, 2024. In his new position, Scott will advise on our investing activities across the
breadth of our private funds.
As part of this transition, Tiger Global is 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. We remain highly focused on value
maximization for our private funds, and as significant investors in all of those funds, Scott, our fellow
investment committee members, and I are closely aligned with you and share an intense commitment to
generating strong returns.
Scott’s decision to make this move after two decades of successful partnership is based largely on geography.
Tiger Global is operating in-person out of our New York offices, whereas Scott and his family have made their
home in Florida and want to stay there. We have found that having everyone together in New York is highly
productive and a better operating model for our firm.
I cannot overstate my gratitude to Scott for what he has contributed to the firm over the past 20 years, and I
understand and support his decision. Scott is a world-class investor who helped launch our Private Equity
business by shrewdly identifying undervalued private Internet companies in China in 2003, forming the basis
for Tiger Global Private Investment Partners I. He is one of the true pioneers of the crossover investing model
and his passion, drive, and commitment have led to many highly profitable investments for the firm including
JD.com, Ctrip.com, ByteDance, Booking.com, Apollo, and Google.
As Scott transitions to his new role, our deep bench of talented professionals – many hired and mentored by
Scott – are ready to step up. We have continued investing in world-class talent in recent years, increasing our
investment and research team by twelve people since the beginning of 2021, and we intend to continue adding
new talent to this group selectively. We feel our existing portfolio, our firmwide research efforts, and our
ongoing dialogue with companies puts our private equity business in a very good position to continue to
execute against our long-term investment objectives.
As recent months have been slower for new investments in private markets, and as our public fund performance
has improved, we have continued investing in the technology infrastructure we’ve developed since Eric Lane
joined the firm, deeply leveraging data and research to enhance our decision-making process.
The Tiger Global team, Scott, and I are grateful for the trust you have put in us and for your partnership. Please
do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, and thank you for your continued commitment.