Last Updated on 7 April, 2022 by Samuelsson
Stanley Druckenmiller is an American investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. He was the former chairman and president of Duquesne Capital, which he founded in 1981.
He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Mr. Stanley Thomas Druckenmiller who was a chemical engineer.
Stanley was raised in a middle-class household in Philadelphia. His parents divorced when he was in elementary school, so he lived with his father in Gibbstown, New Jersey, and then in Richmond, Virginia.
He graduated from Collegiate School, Richmond, Virginia, and received a B.A. in English and Economics from Bowdoin College. He did his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Michigan. Still, he dropped out in the middle of the second semester to work as an oil analyst for Pittsburgh National Bank.
He began his financial career in 1977 when he worked as a management trainee at Pittsburgh National Bank. He later became the bank’s head of equity research group after working there for a year. And in 1981, he founded his own hedge fund, Duquesne Capital Management.
In 1985, he became a consultant to Dreyfus, dividing his time between Pittsburgh and New York. He later moved to Pittsburgh full-time in 1986 when he was elected head of the Dreyfus Fund.
As part of an agreement with Dreyfus, he continued managing Duquesne Capital Management. At the same time, he was hired by George Soros in 1988 — replacing Victor Niederhoffer at the Quantum Fund.
Stanley and Soros famously “broke the Bank of England” when they sold the British Pound in 1992 — they made more than $1 billion in profits in an event popularly known as “black Wednesday.” They calculated that the BOE foreign currency reserve was insufficient to buy enough pounds to support the currency and that the raised interest rates wouldn’t be politically sustainable. However, Stanley split up with Soros in 2000 after a significant loss in technology stocks.
Since then, he had concentrated full-time to manage his hedge fund, Duquesne Capital Management. He was interviewed in the book, The New Market Wizards by Jack Schwager. Unfortunately, he closed his fund in 2010, telling investors: “He’d been beaten down by the stress of trying to sustain one of the best trading records in the industry while managing a large amount of money.”
Duquesne Capital Management recorded an annual return of 30% without any losing year. The fund, however, was down about 5% when he announced his retirement. But they had covered the losses and closed with a smaller profit through a successful forecast that the market would rise in anticipation that the Fed would announce further “Quantitative Easing” to help in reducing unemployment and avoid deflation. During that time, the fund had over $12 billion in assets under management.
He was a top-down investor with a similar trading style to George Soros — holding a group of stocks long, a group of stocks short, and leveraging to trade currencies and futures.
In 2009, he was named the most charitable man in the U.S… He donated about $750 million to foundations that supported medical research, education, and anti-poverty. Stanley and his wife were also principal sponsors of the NYC AIDS walk.
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