Our Benefactors

Julian and Josie Robertson

Julian H. Robertson, Jr. is the founder of the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tiger Management L.L.C., which he co-founded in 1980. He is an active philanthropist, environmentalist, proprietor of world-class golf resorts, vineyard owner and wine producer. From initial capital of eight million dollars, Mr. Robertson built Tiger into the world’s largest hedge fund with assets of more than $21 billion.

Beyond Tiger’s legendary performance, Mr. Robertson trained and developed a generation of Tiger Cubs, a cadre of analysts and portfolio managers who have fanned out to become today’s most successful hedge fund managers. Today, Mr. Robertson maintains Tiger to manage his own investments and to seed a growing consortium of independent hedge funds, run by high-achieving money managers, known as Tiger Seeds.

Mr. Robertson was born in Salisbury, North Carolina in 1933. He graduated from Episcopal High School in 1951 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1955. He then served as an officer in the U.S. Navy prior to joining Kidder Peabody and Company as a sales trainee in 1957. In 1966, Mr. Robertson became a Vice President and stockholder of Kidder Peabody and was later made a Director. In 1974, he became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Webster Management Corporation, Kidder Peabody’s investment advisory subsidiary, where he served in that capacity until his departure in 1978.

In 1996, Mr. Robertson founded the Robertson Foundation with his wife Josie. The Foundation focuses on large-scale, high impact grants in four principal areas within the United States: education, environment, religion, and medical research. Among the Foundation’s major initiatives are active support of New York City’s public education reform, efforts to provide disadvantaged children and families with tools to become self-sufficient and productive, and market-based solutions to combat global warming.

In 2000, Mr. Robertson and his wife donated $24 million to create The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program in his native North Carolina, to encourage collaboration between Duke and the University of North Carolina and to promote the development of young leaders. The program recruits and supports undergraduates on both campuses, providing significant financial support and travel funding for 36 students annually.

Mr. Robertson indulged his “twin passions” for golf and New Zealand in 2000 by creating Kauri Cliffs, a 22-room luxury lodge and golf course on 6,500 acres on New Zealand’s northern coast. Four years later, he opened Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island, built on a 5000-acre sheep farm. Golf magazine ranked both courses among the top 100 in the world. In 2010, Mr. Robertson opened his third New Zealand resort destination, Matakauri Lodge, near Queenstown. Mr. Robertson also owns two New Zealand wineries: Te Awa Farm produces popularly-priced merlots, cabernets and chardonnays, while Dry River, a boutique vineyard, produces an internationally-acclaimed pinot noir.

Mr. Robertson is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller University; member of the Board of Trustees of Environmental Defense; Vice Chairman and former President of the Board of Trustees of the Cancer Research Institute; member of the Board of Trustees of the Wildlife Conservation Society; member of the Board of Trustees of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine; member of the Executive Committee of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; and member of the National Board of Advisors of the Children’s Scholarship Fund. Mr. Robertson and his late wife, the former Josephine Tucker whom he married in 1972, have three sons.