Coleman grew up in Glen Head, Long Island. His Father, C. Payson Coleman, Jr., born in 1950, is a partner at the New York law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, and his mother, Kim Payson, owned an interior design firm.
His grandfather was Charles Payson Coleman, who was managing partner of the New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell until his death in 1982. He was married to Louise Stuyvesant Wainwright, aka Mimi C. Thompson, (died 1996), a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Governor who surrendered New Amsterdam to the English, after which it was renamed New York, and who built the wall around what is now Wall Street, for which it is named.
He started his career in 1997, working for Julian Robertson and his hedge fund, Tiger Management. Coleman had grown up with Robertson’s son, Spencer, who lived close to Glen Head, in Locust Valley. In 2000, Robertson closed his fund, and entrusted Coleman with over $25 million to manage, making him one of the 30 or more so-called "Tiger Cubs", fund managers who started their fund management careers with Tiger Management. Fellow Williams graduate Ole Andreas Halvorsen, one of the world's wealthiest hedge fund managers, is another former "Tiger Cub," amongst other very successful hedge fund managers such as Stephen Mandel and Lee Ainslie.
According to Bloomberg, Coleman is notoriously publicity-shy and has refused to be photographed for any publication since his 2005 wedding photographed by the New York Social Diary. Coleman is co-chair of the Tiger Foundation and the investment committee of the Hospital for Special Surgery. The Tiger Foundation was founded by Julian Robertson in 1989, and its stated mission is "striving to break the cycle of poverty in New York City."
He is a "major Republican Party donor". For Example, in 2012, he donated US $30,800 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and US $5,000 to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. He has also donated to Democratic candidates, including $10,000 to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,$4,950 to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and $2,700 to New York Senator Charles Schumer.
Coleman serves as managing partner of Tiger Global Management. The hedge fund was an early investor in Facebook, and sold its stake in 2013 for an estimated $1 billion. The venture capital section of Tiger Global is key to the firm's success. Much of this success is attributable to Investments in the Technology sector, especially in areas like private Internet companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Zynga, as well as Investments across global markets. In January 2015, Coleman introduced Tiger Global Internet Opportunities, which specifically focuses on Investments in the Internet, and has already grown to an estimated $2.3 billion after beginning with $700 million in capital. In June 2015, Tiger Global's hedge fund manager of many years and former partner of Coleman, Feroz Dewan, left Tiger Global to start his own investment firm, a "major setback" for Coleman, according to Forbes.
On the Forbes 2016 list of the world's billionaires, he was ranked #722 with a net worth of US$2.4 billion. According to Business Insider, he was born into "old money" and has made a lot of "new money" as well.