David Tepper is the founder of Appaloosa Management, a hedge fund that invests in public equity and fixed income securities globally. Appaloosa initially started in 1993 with a specialization in distressed debt.
David Tepper started his career in the treasury department of Equibank before enrolling in business school. After business school in 1982, he accepted a position in the treasury department of Republic Steel. In 1984, he was recruited to Keystone Mutual Funds in Boston and in 1985, he joined Goldman Sachs’ high yield group which was being formed at the time. He joined as a credit analyst and within six months, became the head trader on the high yield desk at Goldman Sachs. David Tepper quit Goldman Sachs in 1992 after being passed for partner a second year and traded Michael Price’s personal account. In 1993, David Tepper co-founded Appaloosa with Jack Walton, a fellow Goldman trader who has since retired.
Appaloosa started with $57 million in capital and delivered 57% returns within the first six months. Appaloosa had grown to $300 million by 1994 and as of 2015, it had an AUM of $18 billion. According to Institutional Investor, $1 million investment in Appaloosa at inception would be worth over $180 million in 2014.
David Tepper was born in 1957 and was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Peabody High School and earned his B.A. in economics from University of Pittsburgh. He then earned his Master of Science in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University’s business school. In 2003, David Tepper made a “naming gift” of $55 million to Carnegie Mellon’s business school and changed the school’s name to David A. Tepper School of Business. In November 2013, he donated an additional $67 million to Carnegie Mellon to develop Tepper Quadrangle on the north campus. David Tepper serves as a member of the Business Board of Advisors for the Tepper School.
David Tepper was #35 of Forbes 400 in 2016 with an estimated net worth of $11.4 billion. David Tepper also owns a 5% stake in Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009. In 1986, he married Marlene Tepper and has three children. In 2014, several media outlets have reported that David Tepper and Marlene Tepper have separated. After living in New Jersey for over 20 years since he was an executive at Goldman Sachs, David Tepper declared himself a resident of Florida in 2015 and subsequently moved headquarters of Appaloosa to Miami. Florida does not have personal income tax and New Jersey has an income tax of 8.97% for earnings over $500,000 per year. Prior to his move, David Tepper was the richest resident of New Jersey. Frank Haines, New Jersey’s legislative budget and finance officer, told a senate committee that due to David Tepper’s move, the State would lose so much in tax revenue that the State may be facing an unusual degree of income tax forecast risk. In 2011, David Tepper bought a house in the Hamptons (Sagaponack) for $43.5 million owned by the ex-wife of the man (Jon Corzine) who passed him for partnership at Goldman Sachs.