If you live outside of Pittsburgh or North Carolina, you probably don’t know the name David Taper. For the Pittsburghers, the Taper hometown boy has done well. From humble beginnings a hard-working child did his job to the top-most of the finance industry, made a fortune and then gave away a large portion of that fortune to local charitable institutions and institutions that now bear his name. For North Carolinians, Taper is the man who paid $ 2.275 billion for the Carolina Panthers NFL team in 2018. But even outside of Pittsburgh and North Carolina, Taper is a charming and inspiring guy. Especially for anyone who dreams of sweet revenge on a former terrible boss.
David Tepper was born in September 1957 in Pittsburgh. His father was an accountant. His mother taught in an elementary school. He attended Peabody High School in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh, followed by the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, he worked as a credit analyst for Equibank. In 1980, David moved to Pittsburgh to enroll at Carnegie Mellon University’s business school to pursue a Master of Science in Industrial Administration, equivalent to an MBA at the time. After receiving a $ 67 million donation from David in 2013, CMU named its business school the Taper School of Business.
Tepper graduated from CMU after two years and joined Republic Steel in Ohio. After one and two years he moved to Keystone Mutual Fund in Boston. After a year in Boston, Taper landed at Goldman Sachs in New York City in 1985 as a credit analyst.
Within six months he was the principal trader of his division specializing in high yield bonds, also known as junk bonds … also known as loans issued by risky companies.
On October 19, 1987, the stock market recorded a decline of 22.6%, which is now nowhere. Today that day is referred to as the “Black Monday” and is still the largest single-day percentage loss in the history of the US market. In 1929, when the market crashed to prevent the Great Depression, it crashed by 11% one day and 12% the next day. So the Black Monday was essentially the entire market crash of the Great Depression in a single day.
Wall Street recovered from the fall in 1987. Many banks, funds and businesses of all sizes were wiped off the map in one stroke.
David’s specialty was analyzing the credit of financial institutions. He knew which banks would survive the crash and which ones would not. He quickly moved to buy banks’ bonds, which he thought would weather the storm. They gave money on the dollar. In addition to earning higher quarterly interest charges, the underlying value of those bonds increases in value, as the market recovered.
Goldman Sachs, which at the time was a private partnership, made an unimaginable fortune in recovery thanks, in part, to David. So you can understand David’s expectation that he will soon be invited to join Goldman’s exclusive Club of Firm Partners.
In the late 1980s / 1990s, a partner name at Goldman came with a base salary of $ 1 million. The total value of a partner can easily top $ 5-10 million with each partner’s share of the bonus pool. However, most importantly, Goldman’s partners received attractive pre-IPO shares in the company in the pre-IPO days.
During his time at Goldman, Tapper’s boss was a man named John Corzine. Corazin became famous years later as a politician, who served as a senator from 2001 to 2006 and then from 2006 to 2010 as governor of New Jersey. He has been a Goldman since 1976. Corzine greatly influenced whether David Taper would be. Entered into exclusive club of Goldman’s partners. For whatever reason, Corazin did not care for Taper.
Taper was denied partnership in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992.
Tepper left Goldman at the end of 1992, after passing repeatedly while being furious and exaggerated. In 1993, Goldman generated $ 2.7 billion in profits. His old boss earned $ 25 million.
David borrowed a desk from a friend who ran a mutual fund and began aggressively trading his personal funds with the goal of having enough money to launch his own fund.
In 1993 David launched Appaloosa Management with $ 57 million in assets under management (AUM). In its first year of operation, Appaloosa raised $ 57 million to $ 300 million. AUM topped $ 450 million in 1995, $ 800 million in 1996.
The September 11 terrorist attack – which was David’s 44th birthday – sent global markets. On September 17, the market dropped 7.13%. This is the 20th largest single-day decline in US market history.
When the year was over, Appalosa somehow managed to earn a 61% return on the property.
As of 2007 the firm’s AUM topped $ 7 billion.
Of the 20 largest single-day market crashes, three hostage bomb time bombings occurred in late 2008. Once prominent financial firms such as Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers turned in shockingly quick fashion. As he had done in previous accidents, David analyzed which banks he thought would survive and invest heavily in his loans. This was at a time when a lot of people didn’t think about the financial industry because we knew it would survive at all.
When 2008 was over, Appalosa returned 120%. The firm earned $ 7 billion in profits to its investors.
David’s personal cut? $ 4 billion.
He was the highest paid person on Wall Street by a mile that year.
David will remain a consistent, if not the highest-grossing person on Wall Street for the next several years.
In May 2019, David announced the return of all external money invested in Appaloosa, so that he could convert the fund into his personal family office.
As of this writing, David Tepper has total assets of $ 12 billion.
Revenge on Corzine
On the day Goldman Sachs went public in May 1999, John Corzine’s participating stake was immediately $ 400 million. For reasons we don’t need to come here, Corzine was actually expelled from Goldman, the same year his nemesis in a ster was circled by future Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.
After being fired, John and his wife Joan largely occupied their incredible beachfront property in the town of Hempatnus, Sagapacac.
John and his wife Joan Dufferty had been married since 1969. They had three children.
The couple poured themselves to renovate and decorate the 6,000-square-foot mansion, numb to the mind of the 6.7-acre beach plot, which was virtually unheard of for the area. A friend will later be remembered in a Vanityfire article:
“John loved that house. He was able to rest there. it was very big. Everywhere you looked you could see how much money they had put into it. Every bedroom had a roof shape, such as Joan had bought them in bulk, having never seen anywhere in person. I remember one of my children asked me, ‘Where can we sit?“
Bored, John was surrounded by politics. He himself spent $ 62 million on a successful Senate campaign. He bought a $ 5 million town house in Washington DC and began dividing his time between DC and Hempton. John elected himself governor of New Jersey in 2006, spending $ 43 million of his own money.
Joan had little interest in politics and even less interest in living in DC. They separated and in 2002 they sought a divorce. The divorce was described as extremely bitter.
When the dust settled, John agreed to give Joan $ 350 million in cash and assets during his decades at Goldman, only about half that.
Joan’s biggest stipend in divorce was that she finds the Hampton home. In the end Corazine concurred. According to VanityFair, when it was transferred to Joan, the couple valued the property at $ 9 million.
She rented it when Joan was not using the house. She can rent a $ 900,000 house for the summer.
In 2010 it decided to sell the property.
In an off-market, all-cash deal with no brokers (so no commission fee), Joan sold the house for $ 43.5 million. About 5-times what John valued the mansion a few years ago.
Buyer? David Taper.
What would have been the sweetest act of revenge on a boss, not only that he had also bought a house from his old boss’s ex-wife, Taper proceeded to raze the property to the ground. The same property that John had carefully renovated a decade earlier and was heartbroken to lose in a divorce.
Corazin was reportedly “apoptic” when he learned that Taper had bought the mansion. We can only imagine the anger he felt when Taper threw the mansion down and gave it twice the size of the mansion.
You can see the new mansion David Taper built in the following drone video which was taken on a beautiful morning after a major snowstorm. You can see the house starting at the 10 second mark with a 40 second mark. You can’t miss this:
And here is a 3D satellite rendering of the house from Google Maps:
You’re looking at David Taper’s old boss at the 20,000+ square foot middle finger.
It did not matter that by then Taper could buy and sell his old bouse 4 times and he regained his fortune in the same way. It did not matter for more than about 20 years.
As a friend of both sides, the latter would say, “It was a massive FUCK just for John.“
So that bar is everyone’s. When you make it someday, you need to ask the boss / girlfriend / lover etc. who is in your way.
Another fun David Tapper story leaving you …
$ 100 million checking account
In 2011, long after his old boss’s house was demolished, David thanked him for an ATM receipt.
On June 18, 2011, at 10:14 pm, David used a Capital One ATM in East Hampton and withdrew $ 400 in cash. This would not normally be notable, but you know how ATMs sometimes list your balances on receipt? David left his receipt in the machine. And as you can see below, the receipt showed his savings account balance of $ 99,864,731.94 at the time.
It is $ 99 million, placed in savings. There was a lot of speculation and speculation through the financial industry after someone posted a receipt to the Hampton blog. Taper soon confirmed that he is indeed the account holder: