- Investors learned of a $10 million settlement that Tiger Global reached with a former employee.
- Others raised concerns about the work culture in conversations with Insider, particularly regarding the actions of partner Scott Shleifer.
- Tiger is raising money for its latest fund, which aims to reach $6 billion.
Investors really don’t need another reason to walk away from Tiger Global Management after a year of dismal results. But that’s what they’re all about.
Limited partners are now learning about a $10 million payment Tiger made to a former employee to address allegations of harassment and a culture that was hostile to women, Insider told those familiar with the matter. The settlement was first reported on Thursday by Semafor.
Others have also raised concerns about the work culture in conversations with Insider, particularly regarding the actions of partner Scott Shleifer. Shleifer is an energetic executive who cuts himself off from people in meetings, talks to colleagues or presses hard for his opinion, three people familiar with the matter told Insider. Two out of three said some staff found the behavior rude and unprofessional.
“Scott was known to be a jerk,” a former employee told Insider. Sources were given anonymity so they could speak freely without fear of retaliation.
An employee who agreed with Tiger claimed that Tiger fostered a culture of brotherhood, led by men, which prevented women in leadership positions from getting equal opportunities in the company. The informant is aware of the former employee’s identity and is not revealing her name to protect her privacy. A former employee who left Tiger about two years ago did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Tiger is led by billionaire Chase Coleman, a protégé of the late hedge fund titan Julian Robertson, who has deep roots in money and power in New York City. He is a descendant of the last Dutch state governor, Peter Stuyvesant.
The allegations come to light in arguably the worst fundraising environment in recent memory. Worried about inflation, rising interest rates and geopolitical turmoil causing tech stocks to collapse, investors like Tiger and the pension funds and foundations that give them their money have faced a tough environment. Tiger achieved double-digit returns in 2020. Last year was very different, with a loss of 67% in his long-only fund and 56% in a hedge fund.
Tiger is raising funds for its newest fund, Private Investment Partners 16, which has a goal of $6 billion.
A person familiar with the matter suggested that the fundraiser, known as PIP 16, was no less successful than other tech investors in the community.
“We’ve worked hard to create a culture that embodies honesty, respect, humility, the pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement,” Cara Major, a spokeswoman for Tiger Global, said in a statement. “Priorizing these values in our daily interactions inside and outside Tiger Global has been the glue that has been at the heart of our success for the last 21 years. We continue to strive for continuous improvement at Tiger Global looking to the future. ”
Shleifer declined to comment through a spokesperson.
Tiger in Miami
Shleifer joined Tiger in 2002 as the first employee and co-founded the private equity division. During the pandemic, he moved to Miami and, according to the New York Post, in 2021 bought the old mansion of former President Donald Trump there for $122.7 million.
Shleifer has been known to verbally attack people in meetings and tell junior employees that their ideas are stupid, according to people who spoke to Insider.
His intensity can creep into his personal life. When Shleifer’s baby was born, Shleifer stayed up in the middle of the night e-mailing colleagues, one person said.
It was all part of a tough attitude that rubbed staff, including several women, the wrong way, Insider sources said. One person felt that sometimes teams could compete against each other outside of the culture of healthy competition found in financial firms.
Shleifer’s aggressive demeanor was in stark contrast to Coleman’s more polite demeanor, the sources said.
According to one person who spoke to Insider, one event caused discomfort among some Tiger staff members. During a company meeting in Miami in early 2020, some employees went to a popular Miami nightclub called E11even.
“E11even is ridiculous. Not only is this place huge and always crowded, it’s also a strip club,” wrote The Infatuation in a review of the place. “There will be topless dancers dancing around you, dollar bills flying through the air, and random acrobatic shows in the air in the center of the club.”
The event was not a strictly Tiger-sanctioned event, according to those with knowledge of the matter. Coleman and Shleifer weren’t there.
As the company reported high returns to investors, it spent lavishly on employee benefits: a lavish winter party at the Polo Bar, Ralph Lauren’s posh restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side; a Halloween party where the winner of a costume contest won an expensive Lululemon mirror and an animal sitter to entertain the guests.
Nevertheless, as Tiger grew beyond its roots in hedge funds and Coleman sought to further institutionalize his company, the shape of Tiger’s leadership changed.
In 2021, the company hired Eric Lane, a former longtime Goldman Sachs executive and former co-head of the bank’s asset management division, to the newly created position of Tiger president and chief operating officer.
“We are always looking for ways to continue to improve as we look forward to the next 20 years,” Coleman and Shleifer wrote, according to the Financial Times, in a letter to investors announcing Lane’s appointment.
Last year, John Curtius, who joined Tiger in 2017 from Elliott Management, a financially distressed investor and worked closely with Shleifer, left to set up his own fund.