Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 451 David Bonderman $4.57B

Random fact: Has degrees from University of Washington and Harvard Law School.

Overview

Bonderman is a co-founder and a principal owner of TPG Capital, a Fort Worth, Texas-based private equity firm with more than $108 billion in assets under management. With business partner James Coulter, he's invested in dozens of companies including Burger King, Neiman Marcus, Continental Airlines and Beringer Wine Estates.

As of :
Last change -$9.46M ( -0.2%)
YTD change +$2.20B ( +93.2%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset Family Office
Citizenship United States
Age 76
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

David Bonderman's net worth of $4.57B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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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 Bonderman's fortune stems from TPG Capital, a leveraged buyout and private equity firm he co-founded with James Coulter in 1992. Bonderman and Coulter are the only listed principal owners of the company, meaning they own at least 25 percent each of TPG, according to an April 2019 Form ADV filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. They're credited with 25 percent each because it can't be confirmed that they own more. The firm was valued at $11 billion in 2011 when two sovereign wealth funds, Kuwait and Singapore, acquired almost five percent of it, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal dated April 2, 2011.

TPG is valued in this analysis at the price-to-assets under management ratio of several publicly traded private equity firms. TPG has more than $108 billion in assets under management, according to the TPG website in August 2019.

Bonderman has collected more than $1 billion in profit sharing and probably more than $250 million in management fees since TPG's founding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from state investor disclosures.

Bonderman controls some or all of these funds outside of TPG in his family office. As of spring 2015, the family office had $1.3 billion in assets, of which 90 percent is attributed to Bonderman based on similar ownership levels at other family offices.

Lisa Baker, a spokesman for Bonderman, wouldn't elaborate on the company's ownership structure and said the billionaire declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 11/27/1942
Family: Married, No children
Education: University of Washington, Harvard Law School

Bonderman was born and raised in Los Angeles and attended the University of Washington, where he received a degree in Russian Studies. He then studied at Harvard Law School, building a reputation afterward as a civil rights lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice. He was a partner at a securities law firm when billionaire Robert Bass recruited him to be his lead financial adviser in 1982. Bass had been impressed with Bonderman's argument before the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve New York's Grand Central Terminal facade, according to a 1996 Texas Monthly profile of Bonderman.

It was while working for Bass that he met James Coulter, the man with whom he would form private equity firm Texas Pacific, later TPG Capital. The duo produced returns upwards of 100 percent a year, Texas Monthly said. Among their successes was making billions of dollars for Bass with their $150 million investment in American Savings Bank in the 1980s, the Financial Times reported in a 2008 profile of Bonderman.

In 1992, Bass balked at buying Continental Airlines, which was then in bankruptcy. Bonderman and Coulter decided to form Texas Pacific to make the investment themselves. The company made more than 10 times its investment on the carrier, which merged with United Airlines in 2010.

TPG continued to make bets on brand-name companies, including Oxford Health Plans, Korea First Bank, MEMC Electronic Materials and MI Energy, according to TPG's website. TPG, along with Goldman Sachs and KKR, acquired Energy Future Holdings in 2007, known as TXU, then the largest leveraged buyout on record at $48 billion.

He is married to Laurie Michaels, who runs Open Road Alliance, a provider of emergency funding to other non-profits. They have homes in Fort Worth, Texas, and Aspen, Colorado.

Milestones
  • 1982 Robert Bass recruits Bonderman as his lead financial adviser.
  • 1983 Quits legal career to be lead financial adviser to Robert Bass.
  • 1992 Bonderman, with James Coulter, leaves Robert Bass to form TPG.
  • 2007 TPG takes part in buying TXU in the largest leverage buyout on record.
  • 2010 Continental Airlines merges with United Airlines.
  • 2014 TXU files for bankruptcy, seven years after TPG and others bought it.
  • 2015 Bonderman says TPG is considering an initial public offering.
  • 2017 TPG Group assets under management reach $72 billion.