A career in hedge funds wasnt part of Sarah
Berners postcollege plan. In fact, there was very little
plan at all. After graduating in 2002 with a BA in political
science from McGill University in Montreal, Berner, who grew up
near Philadelphia, took a gap year in Paris. With no firm path
in mind, she started working for a Belgium-based business
publisher that creates media products to sell in
emerging-markets countries. Part marketer, part journalist,
Berner soon found herself developing an expertise, clients and
contacts in Middle Eastern markets.
The years after 9/11 were dramatic and exciting times to be
working in the region. Keen to become a foreign correspondent,
Berner was working for Nima Abu-Wardeh, a British Broadcasting
Corp. business newscaster based in the United Arab Emirates, in
2006 when her parents asked her to come back to the U.S.
because they were increasingly concerned about instability in
the Middle East. Berner already knew that her sales skills and
her contacts in the Arab world could be an asset for a hedge
fund. The asset management industry was starting to recognize
the value of
sovereign wealth funds, common throughout the oil-rich
region, and of Middle Eastern investors as clients. On trips
home Berner had begun talking with investment managers; she
soon landed a business development job with New
Yorkheadquartered hedge fund firm AM Investment Partners.
In 2012 she joined Aristeia Capital, a $2.5 billion
credit-focused hedge fund firm based in New York and Greenwich,
Connecticut, where last year she was promoted to head of
Berner, 35, has long been interested in the good that
capitalism and investors can do. One thing that attracted her
to the hedge fund industry was reading about the Robin Hood
Foundation, the not-for-profit founded by billionaire
Paul Tudor Jones that tackles poverty in New York City. In
January, Berner joined the board of Gratitude Railroad, a new
investor network focused on using the tools of capitalism to
confront social and environmental problems.
2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Ivy League Schools Pave the
Way for more.
Hedge Fund Rising Stars of 2016
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