This Wall Street legend controls more than $50 billion. Insiders worry he's trying to do too many things

David BondermanLarry Busacca/Getty ImagesDavid Bonderman has been busy raising new funds, lately.

Private equity legend David Bonderman is incredibly busy right now — some worry, too busy.

Bonderman runs a giant $US50 billion+ private equity firm, TPG Capital.

Here’s some of what he’s up to:

  • He hopes to close an early-stage fund at TPG, for investing in startups like Uber and Airbnb.
  • He’s raising a $US10 billion private equity fund for TPG. He’s been at this longer than a year, which is more time than it usually takes to raise such a fund.
  • He’s launching a hedge fund separate from TPG. It will be called Infinity Q.
  • He’s considering leading TPG into an IPO.

Given how much Bonderman is up to, we thought we’d reach out to some industry insiders — TPG investors and TPG-watchers — and hear what they have to say about all his activity.

Here’s what they told us:

  • One investor in TPG’s past private equity funds was critical of a recent report in which Bonderman was said to be planning — as his flagship fund continues fundraising — a separate hedge fund through his family investing office. “Why would folks think he’ll be there late in the fund’s life to help out if there are problems?” asked one investor who has backed prior TPG funds. “He’s 72; it seems tone-deaf to the LPs.”
  • At the same time, the TPG investor said, Bonderman appears committed to TPG, and that he makes road-trips to sell limited partners on making investments. “In [TPG’s] fundraising pitches, he’s still front-and-center.”
  • Why is Bonderman considering IPOing TPG? A recent report said Bonderman wants to cash out of his stake, which is said to be sizable.
  • “They need to IPO at some point,” says one longtime industry professional. “It’s a transition issue; [TPG co-founder Jim] Coulter isn’t just going to write Bonderman a check for $US2 billion.”
  • We asked one source about TPG’s seemingly stalled fundraising efforts. This industry source said that while TPG’s fundraising tally has increased in recent weeks, it still isn’t clear if, how, or when, TPG’s $US10 billion mark will be hit.
  • Why is it taking so long for TPG to raise its latest, $US10 billion fund? TPG’s fundraising has struggled largely due to the underperformance of its 2006 and 2008 funds, which have seen some big bets perform poorly in the recovery from the financial crisis.
  • “$US10 billion is out,” says one investment banking source who works with private equity firms, about TPG’s ongoing fundraising. “$US9 billion? Maybe.”

A TPG representative declined comment.

We’d like to hear more about what Bonderman and TPG are up to. Investors and others should email [email protected]

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