Jeffrey Tarrant

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Jeffrey Tarrant is an American investor. He is the founder, chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Protégé Partners, a firm specializing in seeding and early stage investing in hedge funds. He is also a founding partner of film production company Candescent Films.


Tarrant received a BA in economics from the University of California, Davis in 1978, and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1985.


Early career[edit]

After graduating from Harvard Business School, Tarrant joined Berkeley Asset Management in Berkeley, California, as vice president, co-managing the Sequoia Fund, one of the first fund of hedge funds in the United States. He went on to manage assets for private family fortunes, including Sidney Kimmel (film producer and founder of the Jones Apparel Group). For the Thurn und Taxis family of Germany, he managed their marketable securities hedge fund portfolio and investments in the US, UK and Europe. InvestorForce purchased it in 2000, and it was made a division of investment research firm Morningstar in 2006.

Protégé Partners[edit]

Tarrant served from 1998 to 2002 on the board of directors of The Investment Fund for Foundations (TIFF), an investment advisory firm for charitable foundations, and advised TIFF on building its first hedge fund of funds. Tarrant initially served as chief investment officer and chief executive officer, with Seides as president. Seides took over as co-CIO in 2011 until leaving the firm in 2015, at which point Tarrant resumed his role as sole CIO.

Tarrant is featured in Gregory Zuckerman's 2009 nonfiction book The Greatest Trade Ever, about John Paulson's use of credit default swaps to bet against the US subprime mortgage bubble. Tarrant and Paulson were discussing issues with the housing market as far back as 2004. Tarrant was the lead investor in Paulson's new fund, putting in $60 million on behalf of Protégé clients in 2006 (out of a total of $147 million Paulson would raise).

Buffett bet[edit]

In early 2008, Warren Buffett bet Protégé Partners that over a 10-year period, the S&P 500 Index would outperform a portfolio of hedge funds.

Digital currency[edit]

Tarrant was one of the backers of the MIT Media Lab's Bitcoin Developer Fund. It provides financial support for the three bitcoin developers working for the Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative, which was launched in 2015 to explore issues involved in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

Tarrant was an investor in early iterations of quantitative hedge fund investing, including Renaissance Technologies. Around 2016, he began focusing on machine learning and data science, exploring hedge funds built on concepts of artificial intelligence, crowdsourcing and digital currencies.

Documentary films[edit]

Tarrant is a founding partner in the production company Candescent Films, which was founded in 2010 to produce and finance documentary films exploring social issues. With Candescent, Tarrant has been an executive producer on films including Sons of the Clouds, narrated by Javier Bardem, which premiered at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival and won the 2013 Goya Award for Best Documentary Film; The Queen of Versailles, which won the 2012 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Directing Award for Documentary; Who Is Dayani Cristal? starring Gael García Bernal, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival; and Trophy, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by CNN Films and The Orchard. Tarrant and Bill Ackman executive produced the 2010 documentary Smash His Camera, about the life and career of paparazzi photographer Ron Galella. Directed by Leon Gast, it won the US Directing Award: Documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was later picked up by Magnolia Pictures and HBO.


In 2002, Tarrant helped launch the London-based charity Absolute Return for Kids.<ref name="staub"/> He is the vice chairman of its US affiliate, Friends of ARK.<ref name="rcohen"/>

In 2011, Tarrant joined the board of WITNESS, a nonprofit focused on human rights issues, founded by musician Peter Gabriel and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in 1992. In the fall of 2016, Tarrant and Gabriel launched WITNESS Innovation Initiatives, whose goal is to collaborate with technology companies, schools, developers and activists to create human rights documenting skills.<ref name="staub"/>


  • "Risikoreduzierung – Multi-Manager Portfolio – Nicht Traditioneller Investments" in Vermögensanlage mit ausgewogenem Risiko, Roger C. Gibson, editor, Germany: Verlag Moderne Industry, 1990.
  • "Hedge Fund Investing: A Private Family Perspective" in Evaluating and Implementing Hedge Fund Strategies, Second Edition, Ronald A. Lake, editor, London: Euromoney Books, 1999.
  • "The Life Cycle of Hedge Fund Managers" in Evaluating and Implementing Hedge Fund Strategies, Third Edition, Ronald A. Lake, editor, London: Euromoney Books, chapter 21, pp. 269-77, 2003.


Year Title Credited as Notes
2006 God Grew Tired of Us Executive producer Won 2006 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Documentary, Audience Award: Documentary
2007 The Third Wave Executive producer
2010 Smash His Camera Executive producer Won 2010 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Directing Award: Documentary; nominated for 2011 News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming; nominated for 2011 PGA Award for Documentary Producing
2012 The Queen of Versailles Co-executive producer Won 2012 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Directing Award: Documentary; nominated for DGA Award for Documentary Directing
Sons of the Clouds Executive producer Won 2013 Goya Award for Best Documentary Film
2013 Who Is Dayani Cristal? Executive producer Won 2013 Sundance Film Festival Cinematography Award: World Cinema Documentary
Remote Area Medical Executive producer
Likeness Executive producer Short film; nominated for 2014 Webby Award for Drama: Long Form or Series
2017 The Departure Executive producer
Fantasy Island Executive producer
Trophy Executive producer


See Also on BitcoinWiki[edit]