10 Things You Didn’t Know About Philippe Laffont

Philippe Laffont is perhaps one of the most respected figures in the highly competitive field of technology investing. However, despite his prominence in the industry, there is much about Laffont’s life and career that remains relatively unknown. Here are ten interesting things you might not know about Philippe Laffont.

1. Early Days and Education

Born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, Philippe Laffont first traveled to the United States to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He graduated from MIT in 1991 with a degree in Computer Science, epitomizing his deep-rooted interest in technology.

After graduation, instead of pursuing a technological profession right away, Laffont chose a different path. He ventured into finance, a rather unconventional choice for a Computer Science graduate. If his current success is any indication, it appears his decision served him well.

2. Working With Julian Robertson

Laffont began his career at Tiger Management LLC, a renowned hedge fund run by the legendary Julian Robertson. This was a tremendous opportunity for the young Laffont, and here, he learned the intricacies of investing from one of the greatest investors of that time.

Robertson’s tutelage undoubtedly had a significant impact on Laffont, and he credits much of his investing triumph to the investment philosophies he learned under Robertson’s mentorship.

3. Founding Coatue Management

In 1999, Laffont founded Coatue Management, a tech-focused hedge fund. The fund started with $45 million. Today, the firm manages over $17 billion in funds. Laffont’s vision and business acumen facilitated this rapid growth.

Since its inception, Coatue Management has made numerous successful investments, primarily in private tech startups. Some noted victories include Snapchat, Lyft, and the electric vehicle company Rivian.

4. The Significance of the Name “Coatue”

The name “Coatue” carries significant meaning for Laffont. The hedge fund is named after a barrier beach off Nantucket, Massachusetts, where Laffont spent his summers as a youth. Philip Laffont’s fondness for the area led him to choose this name for his hedge fund.

This symbolizes the core principle he applies to his management style – finding the perfect balance between business and personal life to create a harmonious, successful environment.

5. Long-Term Investing Philosophy

Laffont is known for his long-term investing philosophy. He often invests in companies with high-growth potential that are disrupting industries, irrespective of their current market cap. He relies on detailed research and doesn’t shy away from taking big bets.

This philosophy has paid off for Laffont, as many of his investments have proven to be winners, earning him a top spot among technology-focused investors.

6. Private and Public Investments

Although Coatue Management is most well-known for its investments in private technology companies, Laffont has a robust portfolio of successful public investments, too. In fact, he has consistently outperformed the market with his bets on companies like Apple, Netflix, and Amazon.

Laffont doesn’t restrict himself to a single type or group of companies. Instead, he capitalizes on opportunities as they arise in both private and public markets.

7. Major Loss with SunEdison

Despite his impressive successes, Laffont has not been immune to major losses. His most notable misstep was with SunEdison, a renewable energy company that went bankrupt in 2016.

Laffont’s Coatue Management lost more than half a billion dollars in this debacle. However, he recovered from it with grace and humility, and it served as a lesson in staying vigilant when venturing into volatile markets.

8. He values his brother’s partnership

Philippe Laffont believes in the power of partnerships and credits his brother, Thomas Laffont, for Coatue Management’s exceptional growth. Thomas serves as the co-founder and Senior Managing Director at Coatue Management.

Philippe’s decision to partner with his brother exemplifies his commitment to surrounding himself with familiar faces he trusts implicitly, which paved the way for the success of Coatue Management.

9. His Involvement in Philanthropy

Despite being extremely active in his business ventures, Laffont still finds time for philanthropy. He is widely recognized for his generosity and is especially active in educational causes.

One of Laffont’s significant charitable efforts is “One Laptop per Child,” a non-profit initiative that aims to provide each child in the developing world with a rugged, low-cost, and low-power laptop.

10. His passion for Technology

Despite his role as an investor, Philippe Laffont’s main fascination lies in the field of technology. He is truly enthusiastic about understanding and investing in game-changing technological innovations.

His background in computer science might provide the foundation for this passion, but it is his continuous quest for disruptive tech solutions that sets him apart from the rest.

Now that you have gained some interesting insights into Philippe Laffont’s life and career, you might be interested in learning more about the man and his hedge fund. Here are some useful links:

Coatue Management Official Website
Philippe Laffont Wikipedia Page