Lee Ainslie—No Holds Investing

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“If a week goes by that I haven’t learned something new, then that is really a wasted week. Sometimes, I’ll discover another way of evaluating a particular stock or hear about a decision by a management team that could be interesting.”

Lee S. Ainslie III is the head of Maverick Capital, which he formed in 1993. Prior to founding Maverick, he worked at Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Graham & Doddsville (G&D): How did you get interested in investing?

Lee Ainslie (LA): When I was in eighth grade, my father was the headmaster of a boarding school, and the school decided to start
an investing club. I thought that sounded fun and interesting, so I asked if I could join that club, which they let me do. I started keeping a paper portfolio, and my interest developed from there.

G&D: It's well known that you got your start under Julian Robertson at Tiger Management. Was there anything that was markedly different than the public perception about the way things were run at Tiger?

LA: I'm not sure I have a strong understanding of what the public perception is, so it's hard to say if anything was markedly different. When I was there, it was a smaller firm. When I accepted the offer, they were managing around $500 million. I was only there for three and a half years, but by the time I left, the firm had grown pretty dramatically, both in terms of assets and in terms of people. I certainly learned a great deal from Julian but also from my peers there. What truly made Tiger a special place was that you were surrounded by so many individuals who were not only very talented and dedicated investors, but also just really nice people. I developed many friendships, which have lasted the twenty years since I left. We all had different pockets of knowledge about investing, not only in terms of sectors and industries, but also different ways of looking at and thinking about stocks. We spent a lot of time comparing notes and playing devil's advocate to each other, and so the collective talent of the team ended up being a great benefit to my investing education.

Read more at http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/filemgr?&file_id=7223872

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