Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

# 124 David Tepper $11.5B

Random fact: Called then-presidential candidate Donald Trump "father of lies" in 2016.

Overview

Tepper is owner of the Carolina Panthers, a National Football League team. He also co-founded Appaloosa, a New Jersey-based investment adviser with $11.6 billion in assets under management. As of May 2019, Tepper plans to convert Appaloosa into a family office and return money to its outside investors.

As of :
Last change -$25.0M ( -0.2%)
YTD change +$328M ( +2.9%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset Appaloosa Hedge Funds
Citizenship United States
Age 62
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

David Tepper's net worth of $11.5B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Tepper's wealth is derived from his investments in hedge funds that he runs as president of Appaloosa Management. The firm has $11.6 billion in assets under management, according to a December 2018 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. About 73% of that amount, or $8.4 billion, belongs to Tepper and his employees, based on data from a Form ADV disclosure from 2019 that indicates the percentage of assets under management held by the firm's owners. Tepper is estimated to own 75 percent of those employee funds, or $6.3 billion, based on the Form ADV disclosures.

Tepper will return outside money to investors and convert Appaloosa into a family office, according to a May 23, 2019 Bloomberg report. He hadn't yet made decisions on timing, according to his spokesman Jonathan Gasthalter.

The billionaire is calculated to have paid about $536 million in federal taxes in early 2018 on deferred fees paid to one of his British Virgin Islands-based funds. The estimated payment stemmed from the 2017 closure of a loophole that allowed money managers to avoid taxes on performance fees earned on offshore entities. His payment amount assumes that his offshore fund had average annual returns of 20 percent and that he paid the highest marginal tax rate for 2017 of 39.6 percent.

Tepper owns Appaloosa Management and Appaloosa LP, the two entities that run its three funds according to 2016, 2017 and 2018 regulatory filings. Appaloosa is valued based on the average market capitalization-to-assets under management ratio of publicly-traded alternative asset managers Och-Ziff Capital Management and Man Group. For valuation purposes, Tepper's own assets are deducted from AUM and a 25% key-man risk is applied.

He also owns the Carolina Panthers football team, which he bought for $2.3 billion in July 2018. The team is valued at cost.

Tepper declined to comment on his net worth through spokesman Jonathan Gasthalter.

Biography

Birthdate: 9/11/1957
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University

David Alan Tepper was born in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Harry Tepper, an accountant, and his wife Roberta, a school teacher. Tepper collected baseball cards, memorizing statistics. By high school, he was trading penny stocks. In 1978 Tepper earned a degree in economics from the University of Pittsburgh, where he developed a system for buying and selling options that helped pay expenses. Four years later, he graduated with a masters degree in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University.

Tepper joined the finance office of Republic Steel in 1982, giving him experience at the kind of distressed company whose securities he would later trade. After two years, he took a credit analyst position at Keystone Funds in Boston. He joined Goldman Sachs's fledgling junk bond desk in 1985, rising quickly to the top spot in 1986. Despite the desk's profitability, Tepper was passed over for partnership in 1988, 1990 and 1992.

Tepper quit Goldman and opened Appaloosa in 1993. The fund delivered net returns of 57.6 percent in the second half of 1993, and assets galloped upward hitting $800 million by 1996. Tepper specialized in distressed debt -- of both nations and companies. When the Korean won fell 50 percent in 1997, Tepper bought government bonds and currency futures, finishing the year up 29.5 percent. Beginning in 2002, he bought the debt of utilities such as Williams Companies, contributing to a record 149 percent gain the next year when they rebounded.

Volatile results are a hallmark of Appaloosa, which on average has returned 30 percent since its inception. It lost 29 percent in 1998, the year of Russia's default, and 27 percent during the financial crash in 2008. The firm powered back, surging more than 130 percent in 2009 after Tepper bought cheap bank securities near their lows. A lack of bankruptcies has on occasion dampened returns. To ensure performance isn't diluted, Appaloosa has paid back $10 billion of capital to investors over its lifetime.

Tepper moved his business and residence from New Jersey to Florida in late 2015. In 2004, Tepper donated $55 million to Carnegie Mellon University, which named its business school after him. Tepper and his wife in 2012 pledged $3.4 million to fund a chair at Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts.

In 2014, the New York Post reported Tepper and his wife, Marlene, divorced. He paid a record $2.3 billion for the Carolina Panthers football team in July 2018.

Milestones
  • 1957 David Tepper is born in East Pittsburgh, the second of three children.
  • 1982 Graduates from Carnegie Mellon with a masters in industrial administration.
  • 1985 Recruited to Goldman Sachs's fledgling junk bond trading desk.
  • 1992 Quits Goldman Sachs after failing three times to make partner.
  • 1993 Creates Appaloosa, which returns 57.6 percent in six months.
  • 2003 Appaloosa gains 148.8 percent, helped by surging utilities debt.
  • 2004 Donates $55 million to Carnegie Mellon University business school.
  • 2009 Appaloosa Management assets hit $12 billion after 132 percent gain.