Star Traders

Stanley Freeman Druckenmiller: Titan of hedge fund industry


Stanley Druckenmiller was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 14, 1953. He was born to the chemical engineer, Thomas Duckenmiller and grew up in a middle-class household the suburbs of Philadelphia. His parents divorced when he was in elementary school and he went to live with his father in Gibbstown, New Jersey and then in Richmond, Virginia.

In 1975, he received a BA in English and economics from Bowdoin College where he opened a hot dog stand after finishing his high school in Collegiate school in Virginia.

He dropped out of a three-year Ph.D. program in economics at the University of Michigan in the middle of the second semester to accept a position as an oil analyst for Pittsburgh National Bank.

Druckenmiller began his investing career in the financial market in 1977 as a management trainee at Pittsburgh National Bank.  Later, he became the head of the bank’s equity research group in 1978.

In 1981, he founded his own firm, Duquesne Capital Management. In 1985, he became a consultant to Dreyfus, dividing his time between Pittsburgh and New York.

In 1988, George Soros hired him in order to replace Victor Niederhoffer at Quantum Fund. He and Soros famously “broke the Bank of England” when they sold British pound sterling in 1992, reputedly making more than $1 billion in profits.

They calculated that the Bank of England did not have enough foreign currency reserves with which to buy enough sterling to prop up the currency and that raising interest rates would be politically unsustainable. He left Soros in 2000 after taking large losses in technology stocks. After that, he decided to concentrate on Duquesne Capital in order to enlarge it.

His Duquesne Capital manages between $5 billion and $8 billion in assets, and although he has technically closed Duquesne Capital to investors in August 2010 because he felt unable to deliver high returns to his clients, the investment manager still issues quarterly 13Fs. At the time of closing, Duquesne Capital had over $12 billion in assets.

Druckenmiller has appeared many times in the magazine’s Forbes 400; as of 2013, his wealth was estimated at $2.9 billion to be the 503th richest person in the world.

On September 11, 2013, he said that said, “It would be a big deal for financial markets if the Federal Reserve were to completely end its asset purchases as outlined over the next 12 months”.

Druckenmiller has been married twice. In 1976, he married his high school sweetheart; they divorced in 1980. In 1988, he married Fiona Katharine Biggs, niece of investor Barton Biggs. Druckenmiller has three daughters with Biggs.

Although his infamous trade he made with Soros when they shorted sterling as mentioned above, he was famous of his philanthropy as he gave $705 million to foundations that support medical research, education, and anti-poverty, including a $100 million gift to found a Neuroscience Institute at NYU School of Medicine.

Share Artical