David Bonderman’s Family Office opens up to the world’s rich

(Bloomberg) – The family office of private equity legend David Bonderman is looking to raise money from other ultra-wealthy members of the world as it seeks to expand.

Wildcat Capital Management is starting to build a fund of about $500 million with contributions from a small group of high net worth individuals and family offices, according to a person familiar with the plan. Wildcat will adopt the same strategy for the fund as it does for managing the Bonderman family fortune, which is expected to provide much of the capital, the person said, asking not to be identified as the details are private.

Bonderman, 80, is co-founder and chairman of private equity giant TPG Inc., which debuted as a public company in January. He created Wildcat in 2011 to manage his own fortune – currently estimated at $4.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index – as well as those of a few friends and relatives. The New York-based company had assets under management of $4.6 billion at the end of the year.

A representative for Wildcat declined to comment.

Private investment firms that cater to the world’s ultra-rich have become increasingly open to outside money in recent years. The family office of the co-founder of Microsoft Corp. Paul Allen this year spun its investment management group into a standalone business targeting the super-rich, while that of Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli is raising more than $1 billion for its private equity and hedge fund division. MSD Partners, founded by executives from Michael Dell’s family office in 2009, grew into a multimillion-dollar firm before agreeing in October to merge with Byron Trott’s BDT Capital.

Wildcat is run by Len Potter, who previously managed private equity investments for George Soros. The firm, which shares its name with the location of Bonderman’s home near Aspen, Colorado, has invested in areas ranging from hedge funds to fertility clinics to tech companies.

Lately, he has strengthened his investment team, which currently numbers around 15 people. Recent hires include a former partner at private equity firm CI Capital Partners and a former analyst at hedge fund Cyrus Capital Partners. Drew Tarlow is head of private investments and has worked at Wildcat for nearly a decade, while Thomas McConnon joined in 2018 to lead its equity team after co-founding hedge fund Indbada Capital Management.

Wildcat held $260.2 million in U.S. stocks at the end of the third quarter, including mobile gaming platform Skillz Inc. and e-steam company RLX Technology Inc., according to regulatory filings. He has also been active in private placements, stepping up his bet on U.S. car wash companies in January and participating in a fundraiser for Hong Kong-based gaming company Animoca Brands the same month. In March, the family office increased its allocation to Glia, a New York-based digital customer service company.

Bonderman, known as Bondo to his friends and colleagues, built his wealth buying, repairing and selling companies. After starting work for the family office of Robert Bass in the 1980s, he co-founded Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG in 1992 with Jim Coulter.

Bonderman shaped the identity of TPG and helped make it one of the most successful investment firms in the world. Risky bets were part of its fabric: the company did business with Russia as many of its rivals moved away, made early technology investments and created one of the largest impact investing firms in the world. world with the support of rock star Bono.

He oversaw huge gains for TPG, such as the turnaround of Continental Airlines and early investments in Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc. There were also a few flops, including TXU Corp. and Washington Mutual, where the company lost billions.

Meanwhile, his life away from the boardroom has made him a legend in the world of finance. He snowboarded in Aspen, went to obscure music festivals overseas and had the Rolling Stones play for his 60th birthday. Bonderman is so dismissive of taxes that for years he kept his official residence in Texas, which has no personal income tax and where he spent virtually no time.

Read more: Billionaire Bonderman’s Wild Ways Forged TPG. It’s in the blink of an eye to tame it

Earlier this year, TPG handed over the reins to Jon Winkelried, appointing him as managing director. He now shares a 51% economic interest in TPG, along with Bonderman, Coulter and other top executives. Much of Bonderman’s wealth was tied to TPG as the company’s IPO earlier this year facilitated the sale of its shares.

–With assistance from Amanda L Gordon.

To contact the authors of this story:
Benjamin Stupples in London at [email protected]
Heather Perlberg in Washington at [email protected]

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