Julian Robertson Takes Helm At Forstmann Little

Nov 28 2011 | 10:15am ET

Hedge fund legend Julian Robertson has taken the helm at the late Theodore Forstmann`s private equity firm, Forstmann Little & Co.

The 79-year-old Robertson, whose Tiger Management Corp. was one of the world`s largest hedge funds, became chairman of Forstmann Little on November 23, according to a statement from the buyout company. Forstmann died on November 20 of brain cancer.

In his new role, Robertson will advise Forstmann Little, which has largely wound down its operations, on its three remaining portfolio companies: IMG, the sports, fashion and media company; 24 Hour Fitness, a health club chain; and ENK International, a fashion-industry trade-show business.

Forstmann’s fund formally expires on June 30, 2012, and it is legally required to sell the assets and return the proceeds to its LPs by then, but Dealbook reports the firm has been discussing extending the deadline with its investors.

Robertson established Tiger in 1980 with $8 billion and saw assets peak at $22 billion in 1998. The fund delivered average annual returns of 30%. Robertson is equally well known for having launched the careers of star managers like Lee Ainslie of Maverick Capital and Stephen Mandel of Lone Pine and for seeding the so-called 'tiger cubs.'

Forstmann was a leveraged-buyout pioneer, famous for his takeovers of companies like Dr. Pepper and Gulfstream Aerospace. He is also credited with coining the term, "barbarians at the gate," for the buyout industry.

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