David Bonderman 101: An American Billionaire Businessman
Zatrun Published at September 20, 2023

In this article titled “David Bonderman 101: An American Billionaire Businessman”, we will delve into everything you need to know about David Bonderman, the American billionaire businessman that our readers at are curious about.

Who is David Bonderman?

David Bonderman is an American billionaire businessman born on November 27, 1942. He is the co-founder of Texas Pacific Group (now TPG Capital) and Newbridge Capital, a partner in Asia. Additionally, he is a minority owner of NBA team Boston Celtics and a founding and majority partner of National Hockey League’s Seattle Kraken team (along with Jerry Bruckheimer). As of October 2021, his estimated net worth is $4.5 billion.

David Bonderman

Bonderman was born into a Jewish family in Los Angeles on November 27, 1942 and attended University High School. He studied at Washington University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1963, and then went on to earn his magna cum laude degree from Harvard Law School in 1966. He was also a member of the Harvard Law Review and was a recipient of the Sheldon Fellowship. During his time at Harvard, he traveled to Cairo, Egypt to study Islamic law and jurisprudence, becoming proficient in various Islamic legal circles and achieving near-native fluency in Modern Standard Arabic.

In 1995, David Bonderman began funding the Bonderman Travel Fellowship at Washington University. This fellowship offers the opportunity for eight undergraduate and six graduate students each year to explore the world on their own, with little infrastructure or regulation. In 2013, Bonderman’s daughter Samantha Holloway donated money to fund a similar fellowship at the University of Michigan. While both fellowships are named the Bonderman Fellowship, they differ in terms of eligibility and application.

Career Life

David Bonderman served as an assistant professor at Tulane University Law School between 1967 and 1968. He then became a special assistant to the United States Attorney General between 1968 and 1969. In 1971, he joined the Arnold & Porter law firm in Washington, D.C. and specialized in corporate, securities, bankruptcy, and antitrust litigation. In 1983, he joined Robert M. Bass Group, Inc. (RMBG), now known as Keystone Inc., and became the chief operating officer. Since December 1992, Bonderman has been a founding partner and chairman of TPG Capital’s main partner in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2008, Bonderman was named one of the investors in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

David Bonderman was a board member of Continental Airlines, Böwe Bell & Howell, Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., Credicom Asia, National Education Corp., Beringer Wine Estates, Carr Realty, Virgin Cinemas, CoStar Group, Gemalto, and Ryanair. He also serves on the boards of The Wilderness Society, Grand Canyon Trust, World Wildlife Fund, Washington University Foundation, and American Himalayan Foundation. Previously, he held board membership roles at Washington Mutual, American Savings Bank, Denbury Resources, and Burger King. He served as a board member of Uber but resigned in June 2017 amid controversy over his sexist remarks towards fellow board member Arianna Huffington at a company meeting discussing efforts to combat the toxic and sexist culture at the company.

Huffington stated, “There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that a second woman will be on the board,” to which Bonderman replied, “Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely there’ll be more talking.” In 2018, Bonderman applied for an expansion National Hockey League (NHL) team to play at the renovated Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. The NHL Board of Governors voted on December 4th to approve the team named Seattle Kraken.

David Bonderman

Wildcat, Infinity Q, Velissaris

Wildcat Capital Management, initially the family office of Bonderman, reportedly invested $100 million in the Infinity Q Diversified Alpha Fund, whose website stated in early 2019 that “the investment team and control functions are largely the same for Wildcat and Infinity Q”. Infinity Q was established in 2014 and by the end of 2019, Wildcat was managing over $3 billion, including Bonderman’s capital.

In February 2021, the SEC charged James Velissaris, the chief investment officer of Infinity Q, with fraud in an overvaluation scheme involving the Infinity Q Diversified Alpha mutual fund and the Infinity Q Volatility Alpha private fund. The complaint alleged that Velissaris fraudulently raised over $26 million, misled SEC personnel with backdated minutes, converted asset valuation meetings into nonexistent meetings, and altered valuation policy documents. The Southern District of New York State Attorney’s Office announced charges against Velissaris, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also filed parallel civil charges against him.

In April 2021, the Wall Street Journal analyzed certain valuation issues in the funds’ portfolios and obtained some comments on them. It was also reported that the fund had lost $500 million and reduced its valuation amount to $1.2 billion, with some debates about the loss. Velissaris was said to be the majority owner and controller of the fund, with the Bonderman family as passive investors in the fund. The report stated that Infinity Q was expected to present a plan to distribute funds to investors, which was due by May 24th.

Personal Life

David Bonderman is married to Dr. Laurie Michaels and they have five children. They reside in Fort Worth, Texas. On his 60th birthday in 2002, Bonderman threw a party at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, featuring performances by The Rolling Stones and John Mellencamp. Comedian Robin Williams entertained guests in between sets. The party cost $7 million and was one of the most expensive private concerts ever organized.

In 2012, for his 70th birthday, David Bonderman organized a party at Wynn Las Vegas for 1,020 guests, featuring a performance by former Beatles member Paul McCartney. Robin Williams also performed a comedy routine. Bonderman donated $1,000 to the charity of each guest’s choice.

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