A protege of hedge fund legend Julian Robertson, Bill Hwang is a former hedge fund analyst who worked for the former's illustrious investment firm Tiger Management. Known as one of the "tiger-cub", Hwang is considered as one of the brilliant investment minds on Wall Street. He is the founder of Archegos Capital Management, based in New York.
In the 1990s, Hwang entered the markets as a stock salesman at Hyundai Securities.
Before Archegos, Hwang built the New York-based hedge fund Tiger Asia Management in 2001 with the support of Robertson. The firm focused on Asian investments and became one of the best Asia-centric hedge funds, which at its peak managed over $5 billion.
In 2012, Hwang pleaded guilty to insider trading of Chinese bank stocks and agreed to pay $44 million to settle civil allegations. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that he used confidential information to short sell three Chinese bank stocks. After this, he shut Tiger Asia Management.
In 2013, he founded Archegos, a Greek biblical word for leader, which is a family investment vehicle with leverage-based bets on US technology growth stocks and Chinese ADRs.
According to a Bloomberg report, Hwang’s long-short strategy meant he took large positions in some of the biggest stocks via private derivative contracts which allowed him to take exposure more than his initial capital.
The analyst managed around $10 billion of family money and made big bets on public stocks in the US, Europe, and Asia.
The firm held leveraged bets in ViacomCBS and Discovery stocks along with Chinese ADRs such as Baidu and Tencent. The crisis emerged when bets went south after ViacomCBS’ $3 billion stock broke apart, making brokers rush to exit the position and resulting in a huge margin call.
On March 29, 2021, a prime broker for the company, Nomura, warned of a massive loss of $2 billion.
According to his tax filings, Hwang also has a charity called “The Grace and Mercy Foundation” with $500 million in assets. This causes generous tax deductions for Hwang’s investments.
In 2020, Hwang donated a $20 million gain in Amazon stock, allowing him to avoid the capital gains tax.