Whitney Tilson is the founder and CEO of Empire Financial Research, which aims to provide advice, commentary and in-depth research and analysis to help people around the world become better investors. Its first newsletter, the Empire Financial Report, launched in April 2019.
In the year prior to launching Empire, he founded and ran Kase Learning, through which he taught a range of investing seminars around the world and hosted two conferences dedicated solely to short selling.
Mr. Tilson founded and, for nearly two decades, ran Kase Capital Management, which managed three value-oriented hedge funds and two mutual funds.
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: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger (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, was one of five investors included in SmartMoney’s 2006 Power 30, was named by Institutional Investor in 2007 as one of 20 Rising Stars, 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. He served for two years on the Board of Directors of Cutter & Buck, which designs and markets upscale sportswear, until the company was sold in early 2007.
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, Mr. Tilson was a founding member of Teach for America and then 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 (top 5% of class), and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with a bachelor’s degree in Government.
Mr. Tilson is an avid mountaineer – he has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Blanc, the Matterhorn and the Eiger, and is currently training to climb the Nose of El Capitan. He also regularly competes in obstacle course races and is the two-time winner and all-time record holder in the 50+ age group at the 24-hour World’s Toughest Mudder, having completed 75 miles and nearly 300 obstacles in 2016.
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. For his philanthropic work, he received the 2008 John C. Whitehead Social Enterprise Award from the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York. He was a member (and, for two years, served as Chairman) of the Manhattan chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Mr. Tilson lives in Manhattan with his wife of 25 years and their three daughters.
The Ben Graham VII Annual Conference is the latest installment of CFA Society New York’s serialized, marquee event. The two-day conference will feature panels on the current state of value investing—both domestic and international—challenges and opportunities for value investing as volatility has recently returned, and much more!