Paul Singer is a hedge fund manager and founder of Elliott Management Corporation. Elliott specializes in distressed debt acquisitions and activist investing. While Elliott is more recently known for public activism, it is most well-known for investment activities in distressed sovereign debt, namely in Peru (’96-’02), Congo (’07-’08), and Argentina (’11-’16). Most notably, when Argentina defaulted in 2002, Paul Singer bought the bonds for 6 cents on the dollar. Argentina offered to pay near 30 cents on the dollar but he did not accept and sought full payment for a profit of more than 1,500%. Paul Singer led Argentina to a second default and eventually won the litigation and Argentina has been ordered to pay Elliott for its holdings.
After graduating from law school, Paul Singer started his career as an attorney in the real estate division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. By 1977, Paul Singer founded Elliott Management (Elliott is his middle name) with $1.3 million in capital from friends and family and since then, has grown it to over $30 billion of AUM as of 2016. In its earliest years, Elliott focused on convertible arbitrage but since the 1987 market crash and recession in the early 90’s, it transitioned into a multi-strategy fund with a focus on investing in distressed companies and sovereigns.
Paul Singer was born in 1944 and grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey. Paul Singer received his B.S. in psychology from the University of Rochester in 1966 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1969. He serves on the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School and the Board of Directors of Commentary Magazine.
Paul Singer was #321 of Forbes 400 in 2016 with an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion. Paul Singer has been divorced since 1996 and he has two sons – one of his sons, Andrew, is gay and since he found out, he has been actively supporting gay marriage. He is a major Republican donor and has been trying to convince Republicans to support same-sex marriage. He signed The Giving Pledge, committing to donate more than half of his wealth. He also founded the Paul E. Singer Family Foundation, supporting charitable causes including the Harvard Graduate School of Education Singer Prize for Excellence in Secondary Teaching, VH1 Save The Music Foundation, the Food Bank For New York City, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, the American Unity Fund, the New York City Police Foundation, MarineParents.com, and The Philos Project (pro-Israel Christian organization). Paul Singer owns two houses in Aspen and owns an apartment in New York City’s Upper West Side in the Beresford that has been home to Jerry Seinfeld and Glenn Close.