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David Alan Tepper (born September 11, 1957) is an American investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. He is the founder and president of Appaloosa Management, a global hedge fund based in Short Hills, New Jersey.
He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He also earned his MBA (then known as an MSIA) from Carnegie Mellon in 1982. In 2013, he donated his largest gift of $67 million to Carnegie Mellon University, whose Tepper School of Business is named after him.
For the 2012 tax year, Institutional Investor’s Alpha ranked Tepper first, for earning a $2.2 billion paycheck. In 2016, Tepper earned US$1.2 billion marking him the world's 4th highest earning hedge fund manager.Contents
Tepper was raised in a Jewish family in the East End of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the Stanton Heights neighborhood. He was the second of three children born to Harry, who worked as an accountant, and Roberta, who was an elementary school teacher who taught at public schools in the city. He attended Peabody High School in Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood. He attended the University of Pittsburgh and helped pay his way through school by working at the Frick Fine Arts library. He graduated with honors, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He also dabbled in the markets during college. His first two investments, given to him by his father, were Pennsylvania Engineering Co. and Career Academies, which went bankrupt.
After graduation he entered the finance industry, working for Equibank as a credit analyst in the treasury department. In 1980, unsatisfied with this position, he enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University's business school to pursue its then version of an MBA, a Master of Science in Industrial Administration (MSIA).Investment career
After earning his MBA in 1982, Tepper accepted a position in the treasury department of Republic Steel in Ohio.
In 1984, he was recruited to Keystone Mutual Funds (now part of Evergreen Funds) in Boston, and in 1985, Tepper was recruited by Goldman Sachs, which was forming its high yield group. He joined the firm in New York City as a credit analyst. Within six months, Tepper became the head trader on the high-yield desk at Goldman where he worked for eight years. His primary focus was bankruptcies and special situations. He left Goldman in December 1992 and started Appaloosa Management in early 1993.
In 2001, he generated a 61% return by focusing on distressed bonds, and in the fourth quarter of 2005 he pursued what he saw as better opportunities in Standard & Poor's 500 stocks. He makes significant gains year after year by “investing in the diciest of companies,” such as MCI and Mirant. Investments in Conseco and Marconi also led to huge profits for the company’s hedge funds while Tepper “keeps the market on edge.”
In 2009, Tepper's hedge-fund earned about $7 billion by buying distressed financial stocks in February and March (including Bank of America common stock at $3 per share), and then profiting from the recovery of those stocks later that year. $4 billion of those profits went to Tepper's personal wealth. In March 2010, the New York Times reported that Tepper's success made him the top-earning hedge fund manager of 2009. In June 2011, he was awarded the Institutional Hedge Fund Firm of the Year. Then, again in 2013, Forbes ranked him as top hedge-fund earner of 2012, elevating his status to the 166th wealthiest person in the world.
In 2014, and in 2017 Forbes listed Tepper as one of the 25 highest-earning hedge fund managers in 2013 and 2016 respectively.Personal life
In 1986, he married Marlene Resnick Tepper; they have three children: Brian, Randi, and Casey. In 2014, several media outlets reported that he has separated from his wife. His personal interests include coaching his children’s baseball, softball and soccer teams.
In 2016, he relocated his family and his company to Miami Beach, Florida, where there are no personal income taxes. Tepper lived in New Jersey for more than two decades, initially as an executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., where he helped run junk-bond trading during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Tepper serves as a member of the business board of advisors for the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon and serves on various boards and committees for charitable and community organizations in New York and New Jersey. On September 25, 2009, Tepper purchased a 5% stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Tepper keeps a brass replica of a pair of testicles in a prominent spot on his desk, a present from former employees. He rubs the gift for luck during the trading day to get a laugh out of colleagues.Political and economic views
Tepper contributed $10,400 to the 2013 Jersey City Mayoral Candidate, Steve Fulop. According to the Jersey Journal on October 24, 2012, "David Tepper, the billionaire who supports tenure reform and charter schools, contributed $10,400 to Fulop's council candidates, while Tepper's wife gave the team an additional $10,400." Fulop's former campaign manager Shelley Skinner became the Deputy Director of Tepper's non-profit Better Education for Kids.
Tepper supported the 2016 Jeb Bush presidential campaign.Wealth and philanthropy
According to Forbes, Tepper has a net worth of $11.4 billion as of February 2017. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranked him as the wealthiest person in New Jersey.
On March 19, 2003, Tepper announced that he would make a single donation of $55 million to Carnegie Mellon University's business school (then called the Graduate School of Industrial Administration—GSIA). This donation was made after he had been encouraged by Kenneth Dunn, his former professor (who became dean of the school). Tepper accepted the suggestion but made the contribution a “naming gift” and suggested that the school's name be changed to the David A. Tepper School of Business. Further, in November 2013, Carnegie Mellon announced a $67 million gift from Tepper to develop the Tepper Quadrangle on the north campus. The Tepper Quad will include a new Tepper School of Business facility across the street from the Heinz College as well as other university-wide buildings and a welcome center which will serve as a public gateway to the university. This brings Tepper's total gift to Carnegie Mellon to $125 million.
Tepper also has made several large gifts to the University of Pittsburgh, including several endowed undergraduate scholarships and support of academic centers and university-run community outreach programs. Tepper and wife Marlene have pledged $3.4 million to Rutgers University - Mason Gross School of the Arts, the alma mater of his wife.
In 2006, Tepper donated $1 million to United Jewish Communities of MetroWest New Jersey toward their Israel Emergency Campaign.
In March 2012, Tepper and his former colleague, Alan Fournier founded a political action group, Better Education For Kids. "Better Education for Kids is entering the fray as private organizations are poised to play a larger role in education in New Jersey. Christie wants more charter schools, and he’s pushing legislation that would allow private companies to take over struggling public schools. According to the NJ Star Ledger on June 24, 2011, "Last week, the fledgling group launched a $1 million campaign to advertise its mission and solicit donations. Unlike traditional non-profits, Better Education for Kids is a type of non-profit not required to disclose its donors. Though the group cannot formally coordinate its work with lawmakers, it will be advised by two of the state’s top political consultants: Mike DuHaime, a Republican strategist with close ties to Christie, and Jamie Fox, a Democrat who served as former Gov. James E. McGreevey’s chief of staff."
After Hurricane Sandy, David Tepper donated $200,000 in gift cards to Jersey City and Hoboken families who suffered loss in the storm.References