| David Tepper|
The more money David Tepper makes, the more he thinks about giving it away.
The founder of $14.8 billion Appaloosa Management made a reported $2 billion to $3 billion last year, according to The Wall Street Journal, adding to a fortune that was valued at $4.3 billion in September 2010 by Forbes.
“You noticed I’ve been making some money,” said Tepper with a chuckle in an interview with AR. “So I can give a little bit more money to different places.”
In January, Tepper joined the board of directors of the Robin Hood Foundation, which funds and supports poverty-fighting organizations in New York City.
And he’s considered going much further. Tepper said he’s looking forward to giving much of his wealth to charity and even considered signing the “Giving Pledge,” an effort led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to push the wealthiest to donate a majority of their fortunes.
But he wants it to be smart. “It’s an easy thing to do, and I could do it tomorrow, because it’s going to be a fact,” said Tepper of giving his billions away. Before he gives away much his fortune, however, Tepper wants to be involved in his charity work to make sure of its impact.
“People really have to get involved because there’s a lot of brain power out there to do a lot of stuff,” said Tepper, 54, who said his main occupation in his 60s will be philanthropy. “It would be better if I took responsibility and Stevie Cohen took responsibility and [John] Paulson took responsibility.”
To that end, Tepper plans on creating a new organization as a way for him to do philanthropy full time (he has two people helping him part-time now).
Besides supporting Robin Hood, which he called a “very good” charity, Tepper said he wants to use his board position to learn from the organization’s knowledge of how to give effectively—where it is considered a leader—to improve various charitable endeavors in New Jersey, where Appaloosa is based.
Tepper said he is a long-time supporter of Robin Hood, the best known hedge fund charity vehicle. Without disclosing exactly how much, Tepper said he gives a six figure donation to the group every year, and the board position required a more substantial commitment, presumably $1 million or more.
Robin Hood, founded by Paul Tudor Jones and others in 1988, raises tens of millions of dollars every year from hedge fund employees. Its board is packed with such well known money managers as Glen Dubin of Highbridge Capital Management, David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital and Steve Cohen of S.A.C. Capital Advisors.
While Robin Hood works to solve poverty in New York City, the Appaloosa chief has focused his philanthropy on his hometown of Pittsburgh and current residence of New Jersey. Through the David Tepper Charitable Foundation, he recently lead a $15 million capital campaign for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey with a $2 million contribution and gave $3 million to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. In 2004, Tepper gave $55 million to Carnegie Mellon University’s business school, his alma mater. The school is now named after him.