Meet Bill Hwang, the man behind Archegos Capital Management


A massive margin call affected a little-known family office last Friday, incurring billions of dollars in losses for certain banks involved and jolted the overall volatility in the broader market.

Archegos Capital Management’s leveraged bets in ViacomCBS blew up and ignited a whopping $20 billion wave of forced liquidation at a slew of Wall Street banks, some of which face losses that could be “highly significant.”

Who is behind Archegos?

Archegos Capital Management is the family investment vehicle founded by former Tiger Management analyst Bill Hwang in 2013. He was a protege and one of the so-called “tiger cubs” of legendary hedge fund manager Julian Robertson who mentored and supported some of the best-performing investors including Stephen Mandel, Lee Ainslie and Chase Coleman.

Hwang started out as a stock salesman at Hyundai Securities in the early 1990s.

Before Archegos, Hwang built New York-based hedge fund Tiger Asia Management which focused on Asian investments. In 2012, Hwang pleaded guilty to insider trading of Chinese bank stocks and agreed to pay $44 million to settle charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The federal agency alleged that he used confidential information received in private placement offerings to short sell three Chinese bank stocks.

After the settlement, Hwang closed Tiger Asia Management and Archegos was born.

Archegos is a Greek biblical word for leader or prince.

“This is a challenging time for the family office of Archegos Capital Management, our partners and employees,” Karen Kessler, a spokesperson for Archegos, told CNBC. “All plans are being discussed as Mr. Hwang and the team determine the best path forward.”

What went wrong?

$500 million charity

Hwang also has a charity called “Grace and Mercy Foundation” with $500 million in assets, according to the latest tax filings, spotted by CNBC’s Robert Frank.

The foundation has maintained a low profile in the charity world, even with its enormous size.

The charity has created generous tax write-offs for Hwang’s investments.

For example, Hwang donated a $20 million gain in Amazon stock in the latest year, which allowed him to avoid the capital-gains tax and get a tax deduction.

Hwang donated $16 million in the latest year to Korean Christian causes.

— CNBC’s Robert Frank contributed reporting.