The 2018 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Bringing the Hustle
Some seemed preordained for Wall Street success — Harvard degrees abound — while others pushed their way in. They left behind small towns and law careers for late nights on the Goldman propriety desk or, for many, their own shops. In an industry packed with talent, they are the 30 Hedge Fund Rising Stars.
A handful were born outside the U.S., while others are first-generation Americans. Some were shoo-ins for the Ivy League, while several relied on athletic scholarships to attend a top-flight college. And while a number had been personally investing since their teens, others were not thinking of Wall Street when they headed off to college. But these 30 individuals are now joined by one common distinction: They make up Institutional Investor’s 2018 class of Hedge Fund Rising Stars.
They are individuals who recently launched their own funds or who play a major role in a fund’s success as an analyst, portfolio manager, or administrator. Others have distinguished themselves on the allocator side by investing in hedge funds.
Many of them have worked for top-shelf hedge fund firms such as Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp., Tiger Cubs Lone Pine Capital and Blue Ridge Capital, Kenneth Griffin’s Citadel, Dan Loeb’s Third Point, and Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors.
All 30 have caught the attention of colleagues, competitors, service providers, investors, and others in the hedge fund industry. Of course, being a Rising Star does not guarantee that a person will actually rise to become a star — our past honorees would be the first to attest to that. However, the people on this list deserve to be watched as they further distinguish themselves in their individual hedge fund careers.
Jay Kahn has been interested in investing since his cardiologist father discussed his investments rather than his patients at the dinner table.
The Light Street Capital Management partner attended Tufts University after being recruited for its sailing team. After majoring in quantitative economics and graduating magna cum laude, he began to hone his specialty in tech, internet, and media companies at his first job at L.E.K. Consulting, a Bain & Co. spinout, advising Fortune 500 media companies transitioning from analog to digital. He then moved to Roger McNamee’s Elevation Partners, where he analyzed late-stage growth and buyout investments in internet and media.
However, Kahn preferred the ability to invest globally — he saw huge opportunity in Asia — and to go both long and short, which is challenging in the private space. So he headed to business school.
While earning his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Kahn interned for tech expert Philippe Laffont of Coatue Management. Thanks to an introduction from McNamee, he joined Glen Kacher when he launched Light Street in 2010 in San Francisco. “It was the perfect time with the perfect partner,” recalls Kahn, who heads up internet and media.
When Amish Mehta’s parents came to the U.S. from India when he was in seventh grade, his school’s headmaster felt he was too sheltered to make it in the U.S. So his parents sent him to the Taft School, a boarding school in Connecticut. “It changed my life,” he insists. “It helped me become my own person.”
Mehta later attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School. He chose the business route, which sounded more dynamic than chemical engineering.
After stints at McKinsey & Co. and General Atlantic Partners, Mehta raised money to buy a software company, which he sold for a profit three years later. Mehta, who has an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, then spent 12 years at Vector Capital, a technology-focused private equity firm, taking roughly one dozen troubled tech companies private and then turning them around, including software giant Corel Corp., where he served as CEO. He left in 2014 to launch SQN Investors, which invests in beaten-down tech companies. He has generated double-digit gains in all three full years since he was seeded by Greenlight Capital.
Call it a fateful internship. When Andy Frank secured a summer job at Bear Stearns while attending Tulane University, he was put in the structured credit group. He parlayed the experience into a successful specialty. “It helped advance my career out of college with a skill set few had,” Frank says.
The experience helped Frank get his first job at Deloitte & Touche after graduating with dual degrees in finance and accounting. He helped build a group that “audited” various intricate securitizations, which required the reverse engineering of many different underwriters’ structures. Frank was subsequently recruited by his largest client, Merrill Lynch, as a banker in its structured credit products group. After the business dissolved during the credit crisis, he joined several colleagues to build a boutique asset management, advisory, and broker dealer they called FSI Capital. It was acquired by Stifel Nicolaus, and Frank and his team built out the investment bank’s leveraged finance and structured products businesses.
An interest in the principal side led Frank to Cerberus Capital Management as a managing director focused on the direct lending business. He was subsequently recruited by Fortress Investment Group, where he serves as managing director and partner, leading origination and business development across the credit platform.
Sarah Carne is the lone Rising Star from Australia. After graduating from the University of Melbourne with a bachelor of commerce, she spent stints at Deloitte and Towers Perrin in custody and asset consulting, in both Melbourne and New York. Carne went on to spend seven years at Frontier Investment Consulting, providing advice to institutional clients on investment strategy, objectives, portfolio construction, manager selection, and monitoring. Since 2008 she has been with the Future Fund, Australia’s sovereign-wealth fund. Carne works on the equities team and is primarily responsible for its multibillion-dollar global long-short equities program. She also sits on the manager review committee, which oversees appointments and terminations across all sectors of the Future Fund portfolio. The sovereign fund has generated an 8.5 percent annualized return over ten years, exceeding its mandated target benchmark return of 6.7 percent.
Jane Kim’s role as senior regulatory counsel at Canyon Partners is a perfect blend of her two career interests — law and business. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from Claremont McKenna College, where she competed as a swimmer. She also has a law degree from George Washington University Law School.
She spent six years at law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, first as an associate in the international trade group and then advising investment advisers and investment companies on regulatory and compliance matters. Afterward, Kim spent five years at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, rising to senior counselor. She takes credit for having extensive involvement in drafting Volcker rule text and the accompanying discussions in the rule release, with a specific focus on covered fund issues. Now she has brought her big law firm and government experience to credit-oriented multistrategy hedge fund firm Canyon Partners, working from the head office in Los Angeles. Kim and her team communicate with Canyon co-founders Josh Friedman and Mitchell Julis, who use the compliance team as a sounding board in developing policy and approaches to investing.
When Li Ran attended Harvard College, she didn’t exactly seek a conventional path to the hedge fund industry. The Beijing native, who immigrated to New York when she was ten, graduated in 2001 with a degree in Italian studies.
“When I was choosing a concentration, friends and family tried to convince me that romance languages and literature were not practical, that something like economics would be more useful after senior year,” she writes in an essay on Harvard’s website. “My thought at the time was that college was the only time you got to learn whatever made you happy, rather than what society deemed ‘useful,’ so I went with Italian studies.”
She spent the fall semester of her junior year in Florence living with Italian architecture students. Fluent in Mandarin, English, and Italian, she ultimately earned an MBA from INSEAD and spent three years as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York before heading to Lone Pine Capital, where she was a partner and managing director.
Hedge funds grabbed Lawrence Cinamon’s attention as a tenth grader. He remembers reading about their role in the 1997 Asian financial crisis and, the following year, about the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management. He earned two economics degrees — a bachelor’s from McGill University and a master’s from Johns Hopkins University — then joined a fund-of-hedge-funds firm. At Ivy Asset Management, Cinamon initially focused on securitized products and then on a fund of funds investing in macro strategies, commodity trading advisers, and commodities. In June 2009, Cinamon joined Aksia, where he has been since. Today he is the strategy head for global macro, responsible for investment sourcing, due diligence, and monitoring. He also spends a significant amount of time helping institutional investors make sense of their options and find the best fits for their portfolios and objectives, which he calls the most rewarding aspect of the job. “I strive to have as deep a network as possible,” Cinamon says.
Years ago, Jamil French decided to turn down substantial scholarship money and instead attend Princeton University, the college of his dreams. With that choice came serious pressure to succeed. “My parents were smiling through their tears,” he says. French was the first in his family to attend an Ivy League school, and went to two of them: Princeton first, then Harvard Law School. He secured his first law job doing mergers and acquisitions at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, which ultimately exposed him to alternative investing. He switched to working with private equity funds and some hedge funds, which he liked, particularly the high-profile ones. Indeed, French went on to specialize in hedge funds, where he felt the cultures provided opportunities for a wider cross-section of people. He enjoyed stints with Sandell Asset Management, Credit Suisse, and Pershing, a BNY Mellon company. Today, French works in capital introduction, connecting hedge funds with potential investors. He’s also a financial and legal adviser to those making investments in private companies worldwide. Based in Miami, French is an independent representative on the Rainmaker Securities platform.
As a teenager, Christopher Winiarz learned some valuable lessons from his first attempts at investing. He plunked down half his money on WorldCom on a recommendation — only to watch it go to zero. Then he invested in a dot-com mutual fund at the suggestion of an adviser, again at precisely the wrong time.
“I work hard for three summers and my cash goes to zero,” he recalls. “I realized if you want to make an investment, do your own fundamental analysis and research. This always stuck with me.”
Winiarz, who earned a bachelor of business administration in finance and economics from Loyola University Chicago while also competing on the golf team, says he learned the value of deep research during his five years at hedge fund allocator Harbor Capital Advisors, where he conducted manager research for mutual funds.
After earning his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a couple of short working stints, Winiarz became an investment officer for the University of California’s opportunistic equity strategy, a hybrid of public equities and hedge funds. In 2017 the family office of fund-of-hedge-funds pioneer Richard Elden recruited him to partner with Elden’s son to manage Lakeview Capital Management.
Woodrow Levin went to law school for the same reason many others do: His parents are attorneys. “Law school taught me how to think, how to read contracts, and how to critically examine differing situations,” Levin says on the website of his cryptocurrency investment firm, 3.0 Capital. “But I knew inside that starting a company was what I really wanted to do.” In 1999, Levin — a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Chicago-Kent College of Law — and two high school friends started a company that placed advertising in sports stadiums. He left five years later and subsequently worked on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and launched a series of unrelated startups. Then came Levin’s seminal moment in 2012 when he discovered Bitcoin. “I had no idea what a Bitcoin was, or where to get one, but I was intrigued,” he recalls. He tripled his money in six months after buying his first Bitcoins in February 2012. Five years later he started 3.0 Capital with $20 million under management. His target for his first fund is $100 million. According to Levin, “The crypto asset ecosystem and Bitcoin are in the very early stages” of their lives.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics as well as a bachelor’s in political science from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Steven Boyd joined McKinsey & Co. as an analyst.
Two years later he launched his hedge fund career when he worked as an analyst at SAB Capital Management, a value-oriented long-short equity hedge fund. He then had a one-year pit stop as an associate at York Capital Management, focusing primarily on investments in consumer and health care equities before joining Senator Investment Group in February 2008 as its first analyst — before it actually launched.
Boyd founded Armistice Capital in 2012. The firm is a global, long-short, value-oriented, event-driven hedge fund focused primarily on the health care and consumer sectors. At the end of 2017, the firm had $1.25 billion of regulatory assets, according to an SEC filing. In 2017, Boyd was named to the board of directors of Cerecor, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company and the hedge fund’s largest individual U.S. long position.
Growing up in Cuba City, Wisconsin — a town of about 2,000 people near the Iowa border — Justin Udelhofen knew a career in business meant heading to a big city. So he went to Harvard, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “I’m more of a behaviorist,” he says. “I always was interested in why people do what they do; why they bought one product and not a different one.” During on-campus recruiting he met Charles Wolf, the late Needham & Co. analyst famous for his bullish call on Apple’s stock in 2003 (and his place on Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team). From 2002 to 2005, Udelhofen was an associate at Needham. He left for Fred Alger Management, a long-only firm, instead of heeding Wolf’s advice to go to business school. One year later he went to work for Gilchrist Berg’s $4 billion hedge fund firm, Water Street Capital. He spent ten years as an analyst at the Tiger Cub. Udelhofen, who was based in New York, wanted to stay in the city, so in 2016 he created Durant Partners, a long-short fund with a little over $60 million.
When Lucy DeStefano headed off to Princeton University in 1995, she was sure she would become a teacher. Then her parents encouraged her to apply for a finance internship the summer before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1999. “They thought I would like the speed and competitive nature of sales and trading,” she told Markets Media in a 2017 interview. “We should trust our parents.”
DeStefano said she spent a “humbling” summer at NationsBanc Montgomery Securities, helping a financial adviser process paperwork. There, she was exposed to a broad array of functions including private wealth management, sales, trading, and research. When she graduated she got a job at Goldman Sachs, starting in research before moving to the international trading desk. Later she moved to Morgan Stanley, where she was a managing director in the equity division before joining Pine River Capital Management in 2013 as its head of listed securities. In 2016 she moved to Citadel’s Aptigon Capital to head up trading, ultimately running trading for both Aptigon and Citadel’s fundamental strategies businesses. She left earlier this year to join Soros Fund Management, where she focuses on the systematic trading strategy in the macro space.
When Charmaine Chin left her native Singapore to attend Harvard University, she figured she would eventually return home. However, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics, she landed in the Goldman Sachs training program and stayed with the firm for five years. She worked 80- to 100-hour weeks as an analyst in the investment banking division, laboring over IPOs, mergers, and other deals. “It was a good time in life to be working those hours,” she says. Chin volunteered to move to Goldman’s Hong Kong office but wound up meeting her husband just before leaving. As a result, she spent only one year overseas. Chin returned to work on Goldman’s proprietary desk, investing using the bank’s balance sheet, which is similar to an internal hedge fund. Ten years ago, on an introduction from a friend, she moved to K2 Advisors. Today, Chin heads up the credit, relative value, and event-driven strategy team and oversees Asia hedge fund exposures. She is also a portfolio manager for the Franklin K2 Long Short Credit Fund.
David Rosen has been interested in the stock market since he was a child and his father — a wholesaler of bakery supplies who regretted not being a stockbroker — checked stocks he wished he owned. In fifth grade his father matched the $25 Rosen had saved to buy shares of AT&T.
After graduating magna cum laude from New York University’s Stern School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, Rosen landed a job at Blackstone Group in the division that restructured bankrupt companies. He then spent three years as an analyst at hedge fund firm Green River Management before moving to Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital’s CR Intrinsic.
He eventually launched Rubric Capital as a division, running his own deep value portfolio. He was staked with $150 million, which ballooned to $3.5 billion while Rubric was at SAC. “Rubric was a mechanism for retaining my team by creating our own fund while still being a part of SAC,” Rosen says. Rubric was disbanded at the end of 2015 and Rosen retained the name when he launched his own independent firm, Rubric Capital Management, in October 2016.
Rubric, which manages $1.1 billion, gained 20 percent in its first full year.
Talk about getting off to a strong start. In 2017, his first full year running his own firm, Skye Global Management, Jamie Sterne posted a 77 percent net return, according to people familiar with the fund’s performance. This immediate success helped him to nearly triple assets to around $210 million, from the roughly $75 million he launched his firm with in 2016.
Skye Global makes long-term investments in what it deems to be structurally superior businesses with untapped pricing power and limited exposure to macroeconomic or political risks, according to a regulatory filing. It implements long-short equity as well as global macro strategies.
Before launching his firm, Sterne was an analyst at Dan Loeb’s Third Point, where he worked on equity investments, focusing on the consumer, industrial, and health care sectors. Previously he worked as a macroeconomic analyst at Greenmantle, an equity analyst at BeaconLight Capital, and an equity research analyst at Maverick Capital, focusing on the consumer sector. Sterne earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Lauren Jacobson’s athleticism paid off big-time for the central New Jersey native, who grew up on a horse farm. The high school field-hockey and track star attended the College of William & Mary in Virginia on a track-and-field scholarship.
“Sports were the primary driver of my college decision,” she says, emphasizing that the scholarship enabled her to attend an expensive, quality college.
After initially majoring in accounting, she switched to finance after hearing about her friends’ Wall Street internships, which seemed exciting. She reached out to former William & Mary athletes, who helped her secure a job in Goldman Sachs’s two-year analyst program in 2007. She started off in convertible sales, which was downsized during the financial crisis.
When Jacobson completed Goldman’s program, she did not want to continue in sales, so she moved to the Rockefeller Foundation, eventually taking over responsibility for its hedge fund portfolio, which accounted for a quarter of its nearly $4 billion under management. After eight years Jacobson joined Columbia Investment Management Co. in 2017 as a generalist across all asset classes, including hedge funds.
Angela Aldrich, for better or worse, will forever be known as a Tiger Grandcub after spending four years at Blue Ridge Capital, headed by Tiger Cub John Griffin. There, she was responsible for idea generation, research, and other tasks. “The quality of the mentorship and learning experience has been invaluable,” she says. After Griffin announced he was shutting down Blue Ridge, Aldrich teamed up with Fernando Vigil to launch Teca Partners.
Aldrich has been fascinated with the business world ever since she was a child and her aunt worked in private wealth management — even though she didn’t know exactly what that was. When Aldrich worked in a mall as a teenager, she noted how inefficiently the business was run and received kudos for what she deems “obvious” suggestions. Aldrich majored in economics at Duke University, worked at Goldman Sachs in its investment banking division, and spent two years at the private equity firm BDT Capital Partners before earning her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, hoping to wind up at a hedge fund. Sure enough, she landed an internship at Blue Ridge and spent four months at Scout Capital Management before joining Blue Ridge full time.
When Keith Weiner was growing up in Boston, he realized he wanted to be in the hedge fund industry after reading about Julian Robertson Jr. of Tiger Management fame and other legendary managers.
In 1995 he interned for a Boston family office that referred clients to Tremont Partners, a prominent hedge fund consulting firm before it got wrapped up in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Weiner worked there while attending Suffolk University Law School. At Tremont he met Rick Nardis, who moved to UBS Alternative Investment Solutions.
After spending a couple of years managing a family-owned medical staffing company, Weiner, who earned a bachelor of science in business administration and an MBA from American University, worked ten years at UBS vetting equity and other hedge funds. Through a mutual friend he met Aaron Cowen, who launched Suvretta Capital Management in 2012. Weiner joined when it was just an idea, eight months before day one.
As president and managing director, he is responsible for everything other than the portfolio, reporting to Cowen. Says Weiner, “Aaron respects the back office and has given me a blank check to invest in anything mission critical to create an institutional-quality firm.”
Though Paul Singer is the public face of Elliott Management Corp., the $35 billion multistrategy hedge fund firm, those most familiar with its hard-charging activist strategy know Jesse Cohn’s name — because he signs many of the letters to the boards and management of its targets.
Cohn is a partner, a member of the management committee, and the head of U.S. equity activism at Elliott, and spends substantial time on Elliott’s technology investments.
Growing up on Long Island, Cohn attended teenage computer camp and taught himself to program. He joined Elliott in 2004 after serving as an analyst in the mergers and acquisitions group at Morgan Stanley. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He also is a member of the advisory board at the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance.
One sign that Cohn’s star has risen higher than some of the others among this year’s class of 30: Last year he reportedly plunked down $30 million to purchase a duplex at 30 Park Place in New York City.
Julie Hong Clayton
Julie Hong Clayton had no idea what she wanted to do professionally until she took an economics class in high school. “That’s when it started to resonate,” she recalls. After her senior year she secured an internship at Salomon Smith Barney, the first of four straight years in Wall Street internships. Clayton graduated from Harvard College with an economics degree in 2003, and started her career in investment banking at UBS. The following year she moved to focus on equity capital markets at Merrill Lynch, then landed at TPG Capital, the private equity giant that now manages $72 billion. Today, Clayton is a partner and leads the equity capital markets platform. She serves as the primary internal adviser to deal professionals and portfolio companies on IPOs and public equity transactions, and closely monitors TPG’s public equity portfolio. “I have a healthy and constructive dialogue with hedge funds, who are active in the equity capital markets new-issue calendar,” she says.
Darrel Pfeifauf became enamored with the financial markets and the business world in general after several visits to Thailand during the late-1990s Asian financial crisis. “I saw things that cost 24 baht to the dollar then sell in the 40s on the next visit,” recalls Pfeifauf, who is part Thai.
Now a vice president at Summit Strategies Group, Pfeifauf earned a bachelor’s in finance and economics from the University of Tulsa and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. He kicked off his career at Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, initially converting separately managed accounts into fund structures and eventually moving over to the trading side for several years. After five years, he returned to his native St. Louis so he could be with his future wife, who was attending law school at Washington University. Pfeifauf got a job working at Washington University’s endowment management company, getting involved in asset allocation, risk, and public allocations and implementing strategies in hedge funds, private equity, and public markets, among other things. Two years ago he moved to Summit Strategies, where he is co-head of research, primarily focusing on hedge fund due diligence, manager selection, and monitoring.
Ed Shim joined the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois as an investment officer in 2016. He is responsible for oversight and management of the $49.9 billion investment portfolio’s approximately $7 billion diversifying strategies portfolio, which includes hedge funds and risk parity allocations.
Prior to joining TRS, Shim was head of trading and research at Syntal Capital Partners, a boutique multi-family office. There, he was also responsible for hedge fund strategies, risk premia overlay, macro economic analysis, and proprietary trading strategy development.
Shim previously worked as a macro hedge fund analyst at Drobny Global Asset Management and as vice president of exotic rates and hybrids at RBS in London. Shim holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with statistics for finance from Imperial College London
Growing up in Turkey, Ela Karahasanoglu scored among the top 0.03 percent in national tests for high school and college. The aspiring engineer initially took the finance route, beginning her career as a trader at a Turkish bank. Feeling her “no-name college” would not be sufficient to open doors to a lucrative career in derivatives on Wall Street, Karahasanoglu headed to the U.S., hoping to earn her MBA at Georgetown University, her “dream school.” After being rejected several times and receiving a pre-MBA certificate from Columbia University—plus what she describes as a lot of begging — she got into Georgetown’s business school.
Upon graduation, Karahasanoglu worked at Merrill Lynch in credit derivatives and asset management. From there she moved to a project consulting job with the European Union in Germany before spending six years at a quantitative hedge fund. Later, she worked at Mercer covering a wide range of absolute return strategies, including hedge funds. In 2016, Karahasanoglu joined Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. One year later, WSIB’s assets and investment team transitioned to the new Investment Management Corp. of Ontario, established to manage assets of Ontario-based plans. Now, Karahasanoglu is portfolio manager of multi-asset strategies, comprising risk parity and a wide variety of absolute return strategies, including hedge funds and active currency mandates.
Brian Jandrucko had no ambition of working on Wall Street when he headed to Fordham University on a springboard diving scholarship. He majored in philosophy and took film classes with a plan to attend law school. When he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and communications in 1992, however, he started performing in high-dive shows at California’s Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park. When Jandrucko mulled a job as a stuntman, his parents ordered him back to New York.
Family connections got him an internship at the New York Stock Exchange and eventually a job as a retail broker at Lehman Brothers, which he did not like. He resigned shortly after receiving his Series 7 and 63 certifications. He eventually got a job at J.P. Morgan, where he had his first exposure to hedge funds, rising to vice president and portfolio manager for the private bank. After nine years he moved to Manchester Capital Management in Vermont, where he was a partner and portfolio manager. He joined Church Pension Group in 2009. Today he oversees the public equity and hedge fund portfolio for retired clergy and lay staff of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.
When he was about eight or nine, Ryan Israel wanted to be a lawyer after seeing Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, he participated in mock trials in high school and worked one summer at a law firm. That’s when he realized that law might not be for him. So on the advice of his father, who owned a small security business, he decided to apply to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Israel found finance very interesting. While earning his bachelor’s degree in economics, he came upon letters from Warren Buffett. “That’s when everything clicked,” he recalls. After graduation, Israel joined Goldman Sachs’s two-year boot camp program. Before his tenure ended he was contacted by then-Pershing Square Capital Management partner Scott Ferguson — now the head of Sachem Head Capital Management. Israel joined Pershing Square in early 2009. Over the years he has worked on more than 15 different investments. His most significant accomplishment has been recommending that the firm stick with its investment in Restaurant Brands International. Since Israel took over the position in 2013, the stock has tripled. At 28 he joined the board of Platform Specialty Products Corp. This year he has spearheaded two major investments in United Technologies Corp. and Lowe’s Cos.
Having grown up in a fourth-generation scrap metal business in Chicago, Noah Snyder remembers his father saying markets are like a casino — but you can put the odds in your favor. He read books by Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham “before knowing what they meant.” Snyder attended the University of Illinois, mindful that the in-state tuition was a great value play. He started his career as an analyst at a hedge fund within Arlon Group, the investment arm of Continental Grain Co.’s family office. Snyder then attended Columbia Business School, one of just 30 accepted into the value investing program. At Columbia he led the investment ideas club, and he has returned to teach an MBA investing class. Upon graduation, Snyder helped launch Incline Global Management — a long-short equity and credit hedge fund firm. Serving as a partner, he’s focused on developing and guiding the proprietary investment strategy. “The rest of the world looks at what is hot, not what is cheap and what is expensive,” says Snyder, a former Chicago Golden Gloves boxer. Incline instead uses frameworks influenced by Charles Munger, and the lessons Snyder picked up about mental models and creating a recognizable and repeatable investment process.
Jet Theriac is one of several Rising Stars this year who competed on a sports team while attending college: He was a discus thrower at the University of Florida, where he graduated in 2005, before heading off to the University of Cambridge.
He began his hedge fund career at George Weiss Associates, where he spent more than 3 years as an analyst before heading to Balyasny Asset Management. There, he was a portfolio manager and co-head of the San Francisco office. Theriac then moved to Hutchin Hill Capital, where he was a managing director of global equities, leading the group that invested in energy and utilities from the San Francisco office. He left the multistrategy firm in early 2017 to launch San Francisco-based Lanternback Capital with Eric Sanchez, who was an associate at Criterion Capital Management.
As a teenager growing up in Buffalo, New York, Sheetal Sharma was obsessed with economics. He took a summer economics class at Georgetown University and even considered pursuing his PhD in economics when he was earning his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Chicago. However, he changed his mind after a discussion with a PhD candidate suggested the lifestyle “sounded awful.”
So Sharma — the son of Indian physician immigrants — pursued business. He was not passionate about his first few jobs, but then he landed at Blackstone Group in 2005 to work in its private equity group. It was his first exposure to looking at tech companies and deals. “That was the first time in my then-short career I felt, ‘Wow, this is cool,’” he recalls. It created the path to his current specialty, technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT). He harnessed this specialty when he created the TMT investing effort at Hoplite Capital Management before moving to Third Point to run the TMT team.
Earlier this year Sharma joined Tourbillon Capital Partners to run its TMT group. “At some point being a great investor is knowing yourself and what you can do well, and then putting yourself in an environment that allows you to do that,” Sharma says.
Josh Segal is one of those science and math whizzes who took their interests and skills to Wall Street.
“I was attracted to finance by the challenge of finding order in a complex system with many interacting parts,” he says. “The system is constantly evolving, but we can still understand how it works and make useful predictions using mathematics.”
Today he’s doing just that at Paloma Partners, which he joined in 2014 as a portfolio manager overseeing a quantitative volatility strategy. He and his team manage a relative value portfolio that captures statistical arbitrage in options and other derivatives across asset classes.
He graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics (with honors) and earned a master’s degree in mathematics and finance from New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. In 2004 he joined the quantitative strategies group at Goldman Sachs, structuring derivatives on interest rates and other asset classes.
He then moved to BlueMountain Capital Management as a portfolio manager, running a book of volatility and quantitative strategies, before joining the now-defunct Vermillion Asset Management — which was then part of the Carlyle Group — as a senior portfolio manager, developing and implementing a set of systematic long-short volatility strategies in the commodities space.