Tiger Founder Knighted In New Zealand

Dec 31 2009 | 1:53am ET

Legendary hedge fund manager Julian Robertson has received a unique honor: He’s become New Zealand’s first honorary knight.

The Tiger Management founder was made an honorary knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Though a North Carolina native and New York resident, Robertson has spent a lot of time in New Zealand over the past 30 years, and his third child was reportedly conceived in the country.

But the billionaire’s honor had less to do with that than with his philanthropic and business activities in New Zealand, which he visited for the first time in 1978, planning to write a novel. He has established scholarship programs for New Zealnders, and earlier this year gave US$115 million worth of art to the Auckland Art Gallery. The 15 pieces, by Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and others, is the largest gift ever made to an art museum in Australasia.

Robertson has also developed a pair of golf courses in the country, and invested in its growing wine industry.

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