Paul Allen’s Vulcan Creates $8 Billion Investment Management Group


The family office of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has transformed his investment management group into a stand-alone business for the world’s super-rich.

Vulcan Capital is now called Cercano Management and oversees the investment assets of the estate and family foundation of Allen, who died in 2018, according to a family office representative, Vulcan Inc. It is run by the former director of Vulcan Capital’s Chris Orndorff investments and spreads across public markets, private equity, private credit and real estate, according to a November filing.

The Bellevue-based company describes itself as an investment advisory firm for ultra-high net worth individuals, with assets under management totaling $7.7 billion at the end of September.

Orndorff, who joined Vulcan in 2016 from Western Asset Management, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While it’s common for an investment management group to operate within a family office, it made sense to separate that function for legal and tax reasons after Allen’s death, a Vulcan representative said. in an emailed statement.

Allen started Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975 and left in 1983. He grew his stake into a $26 billion fortune over the next three decades, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Through Vulcan, Allen acquired the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League and the Portland Trailblazers of the National Basketball Association. He bought a world-class art collection, considerable real estate and invested in startups. He also cruised the world on the 414ft superyacht ‘Octopus’, which was sold last year to an undisclosed buyer after it was last offered for 235 million euros ($265 million).

Allen had no spouse or children to inherit his empire, although his sister, Jody Allen, was Vulcan’s chair.

Clients typically need at least $100 million to open an account with Cercano, according to filings, and can include foundations linked to wealthy families.

She invested this month in Pendulum, an online platform for detecting harmful stories on social media. GeekWire reported on the spin-out earlier on Tuesday.


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