Value investor, author, education reformer and philanthropist
Whitney Tilson is the founder and Managing Partner of Kase Capital Management, which manages three value-oriented hedge funds. Mr. Tilson is also the co-founder of Value Investor Insight, an investment newsletter.
Mr. Tilson has co-authored two books, The Art of Value Investing: How the World's Best Investors Beat the Market (2013) and More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times (2009), was one of the authors of Poor Charlie’s Almanack (2005), the definitive book on Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, and has written for Forbes, the Financial Times, Kiplinger’s, the Motley Fool and TheStreet.com. He was featured in two 60 Minutes segments in December 2008 about the housing crisis (which won an Emmy) and in March 2015 about Lumber Liquidators, has appeared dozens of times on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Fox Business Network, was on the cover of the July 2007 Kiplinger’s, has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and has spoken widely on value investing and behavioral finance.
Mr. Tilson spent much of his childhood in Tanzania and Nicaragua (his parents are both educators, were among the first couples to meet and marry in the Peace Corps, and have retired in Kenya). Consequently, Mr. Tilson is involved with a number of charities focused on education reform and Africa.
Regarding the former, he:
- Was among the first people to join Wendy Kopp in 1989 to launch Teach For America.
- For more than a decade has served on the board of the KIPP Academy charter school in the South Bronx, which is part of a national network of college prep public charter schools in low-income communities.
- Is a board member and one of the founders of Democrats for Education Reform, which aims to move the Democratic Party to embrace genuine school reform.
- Is a well-known writer/blogger/commentator on education reform, with columns in the Huffington Post (see his web sites at: www.arightdenied.org and edreform.blogspot.com)
- Authored a 292-slide presentation, A Right Denied: The Critical Need for Genuine School Reform (posted at: www.arightdenied.org), that was made into a documentary by the same name in early 2010.
Regarding Africa, Mr. Tilson:
- Served on the board of the Fistula Foundation for a decade, which supports the Hamlin Fistula Hospitals in Ethiopia and other fistula hospitals worldwide.
- Was on the board of the Thorn Tree Project and the Samburu Scholarship Fund, which provide educational opportunities for nomadic children in northern Kenya.
He is also on the board of the Pershing Square Foundation, is a member and past Chairman of the Manhattan chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization, and served on the finance committees of Barack Obama and Newark Mayor Cory Booker. For his philanthropic work, he received the 2008 John C. Whitehead Social Enterprise Award from the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York.
Prior to launching his investment career in 1999, Mr. Tilson spent five years working with Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter studying the competitiveness of inner cities and inner-city-based companies nationwide. He and Professor Porter founded the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, of which Mr. Tilson was Executive Director. Mr. Tilson also led the effort to create ICV Partners, a national for-profit private equity fund focused on minority-owned and inner-city businesses that has raised nearly $500 million. Before business school, in addition to Teach for America, Mr. Tilson spent two years as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group.
Mr. Tilson received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School, where he was elected a Baker Scholar, and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with a bachelor’s degree in Government. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and three teenage daughters.