Is share market a real gamble house?

Korean-American investor Bill Hwang was once known as ‘the greatest trader you had never heard of’ – then he lost it all

KATHMANDU: Korean-American “Tiger Cub” investor Bill Hwang was once known as “the greatest trader you had never heard of”. Ironically you’re more likely to have heard of him since March – when his US$20 billion net worth was reportedly wiped out in 10 days. The sudden collapse of Hwang’s New York-based Archegos Capital Management has been called the fastest single loss by an individual in history. It also imposed huge losses on his bankers Nomura and Credit Suisse, raising fears of another global banking meltdown.

How did he get started?

Hwang immigrated to the US in 1982, and while he received a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a master’s degree at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon, he made his first foray into the stock market at Hyundai Securities, before he moved to Peregrine. Here he met legendary investor Julian Robertson, who recruited Hwang to Tiger Management, eventually tasking him with launching the Tiger Asia Management fund in the early 2000s.

He’s very religious

After a stint of success, he started his own family office fund, Archegos Capital, in 2013 and eventually amassed a personal fortune of close to US$20 billion. But his reputation is not that of a high-rolling hedge fund type – Hwang has spoken publicly about his Christian faith, and founded his own private grant-making foundation, The Grace and Mercy Foundation, which had more than US$500 million in assets.

So where did the money go?

According to its website, The Grace and Mercy Foundation supports the poor and invests in organisations that could bring value to their communities. The private family foundation makes grants in the marketplace and the world of non-profit. This foundation maintained a low profile in the US until CNBC’s Robert Frank spotted its IRS filing.

The Archegos Capital Management boss donated technology stocks – including Amazon, Netflix and Facebook shares – to The Grace and Mercy Foundation that would be worth nearly US$950 million today.

Tax filings show the foundation has made millions of dollars in payments to religious affiliated institutions and non-profits such as Hope for New York, Redeemer Presbyterian Church and liberal arts school The King’s College, while Hwang’s commitment to his Korean heritage is evident in grants given to Korean Medical Program and international NGOs that help refugees escape from North Korea.  SCMP

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday September 19, 2021, 04:04:52 PM |

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