Sean Wygovsky
Polar Asset Management Partners

Though he’s a sports fan, Sean Wygovsky has no interest in ice hockey. He does love golf: His career inspiration is Ben Hogan, an all-time golf great who succeeded through relentless determination and passion for the game.

As the son of an engineer and a mathematics teacher growing up in Summit, New Jersey, Wygovsky had little exposure to finance or Wall Street. In high school he considered studying in college to become a doctor but found himself losing interest. The booming sports news industry already captured his attention, and Wygovsky, 35, soon developed a similar enthusiasm for tracking financial markets. At the University of Richmond in Virginia, he began taking business classes and found that he enjoyed finance, which offered the competitive environment he had been looking for.

After Wygovsky graduated in 2002 with a BS in business administration, his first job in finance was as an investment analyst with asset manager TIAA-CREF in New York. Finding that role insufficiently challenging, after two years he switched to trading, starting in corporate bonds with New York hedge fund firm Exis Capital Management. In 2006 he joined New York–based Tiger Management Corp., where he became a trader for a handful of hedge funds in the Tiger stable of managers. Then in 2013, Wygovsky was given the opportunity to join Polar Asset Management Partners as a partner, trader and portfolio manager.

Based in Toronto, the firm was launched as Polar Securities in 1991 by three founders; it mostly focused on hedge funds and private equity, with an emphasis on arbitrage opportunities. Last year, after a strategic review, the $1.5 billion firm rebranded under its current name. Wygovsky has enjoyed his move north of the border, but he’s still no hockey fan — perhaps understandably, given the 48-year championship drought of his local team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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