When David Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers in 2018, he did so in record-breaking fashion. With sports franchises at an all-time high in terms of value, Tepper’s investment team purchased the team from founder Jerry Richardson. While hefty to most people on the planet, however, Tepper can afford it. The hedge fund manager is known for striking significant deals that have made him very wealthy in the process.
Who is David Tepper?
Tepper is a hedge fund manager who made a lot of money by gambling on banks during the 2009 financial disaster. Since then, he has emerged as one of the greatest power players that the business world offers. The Pennsylvania native was born in 1957, according to Investopedia. He received his economics degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1978. Then, in 1982 he received his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
Fresh out of college and with his masters in hand, Tepper began as a credit and securities analyst with Equibank before finding a home in the financial department at Republic Steel. Working with some of the best businessmen that money has to offer, Tepper got firsthand experience and made his way to the granddaddy of all financial institutions, Goldman Sachs.
However, after eight years with the firm, Tepper moved on to form his own group, Appaloosa Management L.P. Starting with over $57 million, the company quickly grew to over $300 million in its first year alone. Banking on struggling companies that he believes can turn it all around, Tepper made his name due to a slew of risky deals that paid off immensely.
When so many people were losing money in 2008, Tepper made a last-ditch move to bet on blue-chip stocks surviving the market crash. Now a sports owner, Tepper shows no signs of slowing down.
Tepper goes to sports
The Panthers are not the first football team that Tepper invested in. He first invested in the Pittsburgh Steelers as a five-percent stakeholder in 2009 and spent nearly a decade as one of its minority owners. However, with such a small stake, his investment was more a passion project than it would be as a majority stakeholder.
In 2018, Panthers founder Richardson sold the team to Tepper for a mindboggling $2.2 billion. The group, which was still floundering after its 2016 Super Bowl loss, was a relatively hot commodity. With the reins solely in his hand, however, Tepper could rebuild the team in his image. He immediately let them know who was boss by firing Ron Rivera after the 2019 season.
Not long after, Tepper made waves again by allowing his team to release franchise quarterback and fan-favorite Cam Newton. Whether this works out or not remains to be seen, but Tepper showed that just as he does in business, he is not against making big moves that could potentially go either great or terrible. Perhaps, this explains his massive wealth,
What is David Tepper’s worth?
Tepper is worth over $12 billion and counting, according to Forbes. Aside from football and business, he is a noted philanthropist who donates millions every year to various causes that are close to his heart. Tepper was a politically active billionaire among Jeb Bush’s loudest supporters in his failed 2016 presidential campaign. According to Forbes, he is the second-richest owner in all sports behind Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, making him richer than even big-hitters like Jerry Jones.
Tepper’s tenure in Carolina is still young. However, his penchant for striking big on gambles could make for some exciting years ahead of him. Whether his bets pay off or lose him money and games, however, remains to be seen.