Matthew Fitzmaurice

At 53, Matthew Fitzmaurice may seem an unlikely Hedge Fund Rising Star, but he’s at the forefront of a movement that could open up new vistas for alternative-­investment managers: sustainability. Fitzmaurice contends that several demographic trends — among them, urbanization, climate change and a growing global middle class — are affecting businesses by placing a burden on essential resources like food, fuel and water. Companies that provide solutions for these global problems will be much better positioned than their competitors, he says. In 2006 the Minnesota native, who holds political science and law degrees from Georgetown University, co-founded asset manager AWJ Capital Partners to invest in the winner and loser companies in this brave new world, focusing on water, energy and agriculture. The Minneapolis-based firm, which manages less than $100 million, has a fund-of-hedge-funds strategy that allocates to the elite managers seeking returns in these sectors. This summer AWJ is making changes that could dramatically increase its own footprint — but in a good way. Stay tuned.