Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but a career in the gem industry can have less to offer than working at a top hedge fund — or at least that’s been Harlan Saroken’s experience. The daughter of an oil and gas transportation executive, Saroken is a born-and-raised New Yorker. After growing up on the Upper East Side, she received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where she majored in government. She left Cambridge, Massachusetts, to return to her home city and a job as an associate in equity capital markets with investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co. Having worked in equity sales for Merrill in New York and London, Saroken followed her boss and mentor, Alison Mass, to Goldman Sachs Group in 2001. Two years later she changed career paths by moving to diamond and jewelry wholesaler M. Fabrikant & Sons, a firm with which she had family ties. After more than five years of marketing financial products to Wall Street, Saroken was now selling diamonds to Wal-Mart Stores. Her old Wall Street pals hadn’t forgotten her, however: In 2005, when New York–based hedge fund firm Perry Capital was looking for a marketing and investor relations executive, Saroken’s mentor recommended her for the job. So it was goodbye to diamonds and hello to hedge funds, with her personable style, ease with numbers and willingness and ability to understand the product translating well. The 39-year-old managing director is now an integral part of the team at Perry, which manages more than $9.8 billion in assets. Saroken’s diamond escapade did have some lasting benefits, though. Not only is she the go-to person for friends and colleagues looking for that special piece of jewelry, but she also met her husband during that time.

The 2015 Hedge Fund Rising Stars
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Paul Alzapiedi
Silver Point Capital
Adam Bernstein
Pagoda Asset Management
Jennifer Bloom
Robert Campion
Canyon Capital Advisors
Katherine Chan
Anandar Capital Management
T. Troy Dixon
Hollis Park Partners
Curtis Gallagher
Park Hill Group
Brian Goldberg
Geoffrey Keegan
Creciente Partners Investment Management
Brian Kelly
Millennium partners
Robert Kennelley
Rocaton Investment Advisors
Ryan Kilstein
Southpoint capital advisors
Monica Lai
Leigh Lower
Graham Capital Management
Pooja Malik
Nipun Capital
Jamie Mendola
Pacific Grove Capital
Bradley Neumeister
Oleg Nodelman
EcoR1 Capital
James Oussedik
Sidley Austin
Amit Pardasani
Owl Creek Asset Management
Putri Pascualy
Courtney Powers
University of texas Investment Management Co.
Laura Roche
Roystone Capital Management
Harlan Saroken
Perry Capital
Richard Scarinci
Blackstone Group
Randall Shu
Samuel Siegal
Senator Investment Group
Nadine Terman
solstein Capital
Anastasia Titarchuk
New York State Common Retirement Fund
Christina van Beelen
Secor Asset Management