Meet Institutional Investor’s 2024 Hedge Fund Rising Stars

The group of seven up-and-comers will be honored at the Hedge Fund Industry Awards on June 26.


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The 2024 Hedge Fund Industry Awards winners will be honored on June 26 in Newport, Rhode Island at a gala dinner, which is part of II‘s annual Investor Week.

One wanted to be a professional surfer; another was headed for a career as a dentist. But they found their calling in the world of finance, whose unforgiving terrain has proved a testing ground for all seven of this year’s rising stars. Only one of this year’s stars came from a family involved in finance — his grandfather founded a small community bank.

Three of this year’s stars were just starting out on Wall Street in 2008 and found their careers molded by the financial crisis.

Here are their stories.


Hilary Curran

Eisler Capital

When Hilary Curran joined hedge fund Eisler Capital in late 2022, few of her colleagues knew she had once considered a career as a dentist. In fact, she had graduated from a Canadian dental school and was board-certified.


It seemed a natural vocation for the young woman who grew up in a small town in Canada: Curran’s mother is a nurse and her sister was in medical school at the time. But during her studies, Curran found herself gravitating towards finance classes and quickly upended her future plans.

She enrolled in the University of Chicago’s Booth School of business MBA program and eventually made it to Wall Street, starting out as a derivatives trader at Morgan Stanley. The job was “trial by fire,” she recalls.

After ten years on the trading floor, first at Morgan Stanley and later at Deutsche Bank, she was ready for the next stage in her career — as global head of business development at Eisler. “I traded interest rates for over a decade and I really did feel like I was ready for a new challenge,” she says.

It’s an important role at the ambitiously expanding Eisler as she focuses on talent acquisition—portfolio manager selection and due diligence. In addition, Curran’s job is about “understanding the strategy that adds to the overall diversification profile of the fund,” she says.

Founded by former Goldman Sachs partner Edward Eisler in 2015, the London-based firm began as a global macro fund. But as its macro business floundered, Eisler followed the hottest trend in hedge funds and in 2021 launched a multistrategy fund. Since then, Eisler has become a prominent player in what has become the toughest — albeit most popular — sector of the hedge fund business. Curran joined the New York office in November of 2022, just as Eisler was closing the macro fund and expanding its multistrategy efforts. The multistrat fund gained 15.1 percent in 2022, and 9.8 percent in 2023. Last year the firm reportedly hired 42 people and added offices around the globe.

With $4 billion in assets, Eisler is still a minnow compared with rivals Citadel and Millennium. While Curran won’t talk about the specifics, the secretive firm is now reportedly planning to hire as many as 25 new PMs this year as it hopes to raise more than $1 billion and expand its global reach — it is opening an office in Dubai — and build up new strategies after a number of publicized high-profile exits.

“My background is uniquely helpful in understanding various investment strategies because I deployed them myself and also in understanding what’s really important to portfolio managers for their ultimate success,” she says.

Curran says her biggest challenge is having some work-life balance: “Ultimately it’s always a push and pull between the demands of the day to day and balancing that with your own personal life.”

Kevin Del Mauro

Leucadia Asset Management

In a “perfect world,” Kevin Del Mauro says, he would have been a professional surfer, spending his time on beaches in his favorite surfing locales — Bali, Nicaragua, and the Maldives. Instead, the New Jersey native has excelled at navigating other tumultuous waves. beginning with the 2008 financial crisis.

That year he graduated from Fairfield University in Connecticut, went to work for Merrill Lynch, and moved to New York City. Starting off in the analyst rotation program and doing a stint in the back office when Merrill merged with Bank of America, Del Mauro says he was lucky to keep his job.

Today Del Mauro is a managing director and the U.S. head of business development at Leucadia Asset Management, which he joined seven years ago following stints marketing hedge funds at Credit Suisse and Investcorp. “I got thrown in the deep end. I didn’t really know what hedge funds did; I didn’t know what the investors looked like,” he says of his earlier experiences.

But like his father and grandfather — who were both entrepreneurs — sales was in Del Mauro’s blood. “What I’ve always really enjoyed is the people aspect. I like to meet different people and get to know what makes them tick.”

Del Mauro says he took a calculated risk to go to Leucadia. “When I first joined, there was essentially one big quantitative hedge fund here. There were two other funds for Leucadia and some partners of the firm. And there was an event-driven strategy out in London.”

“It felt like very much a startup,” he says. Leucadia National Group bought Jefferies in 2013, later changing its name to Jefferies Financial Group, which now has the balance sheet to back up the asset management group’s ambitions — which are fairly grand. According to Del Mauro, the firm wants to “grow the next Blackstone.”

Leucadia Asset Management has 20 products on its platform, and Del Mauro’s job is to find out which of those might fit into the mandate of its clients at public pension plans, endowments, foundations, family offices, and sovereign wealth funds.

“We really try to plug and play because these are large institutions; they know what they need and what they don’t need.” The platform includes equities, credit, quant, and macro hedge funds, as well as private credit, venture, and real estate. Leucadia offers products “that hit almost everybody’s buckets,” he says.

The firm is the anchor investor in all of the funds on its platform, which is another selling point. “We’re putting our money where our mouth is,” says Del Mauro.

Colton Loder


In 2018, a year after Goldman Sachs bought Verus Investments, Colton Loder decided it was time to leave the boutique firm where he was a senior portfolio manager and go out on his own. So he took the skills he learned over the prior decade to launch a firm that would offer a volatility strategy — protection from what he calls “the fragility of things.”

He named his firm Cohalo and set up shop in the Snoqualmie Falls area east of Seattle.

“I viewed it as a broad solution that would improve any portfolio and quantitatively it does that,” he said. “There is always uncertainty.”

Loder’s interest in volatility strategies started during the financial crisis, when he got his first post-college job at Goldman Sachs in 2007 after graduating from Brigham Young University. During the crisis the VIX became, as he puts it, “the new thing.”

Loder then got an MBA and became a risk manager at Seattle-based Russell Investments before moving to Verus, where he worked as the outsourced portfolio manager for a multibillion dollar Canadian pension. But when Verus was bought by Goldman, Loder says he knew he didn’t want to leave the Seattle area for New York, limiting his career potential at the global investment bank.

He also had a vision of what he wanted to offer investors.

Loder had developed an approach that would take advantage of times when it was good to own volatility — like during the early days of the pandemic. But it would “also not bleed out at times we have today, when it’s incrementally not very volatile,” he explains. Since launch, the Dynamic Volatilities Strategies — which invest exclusively in VIX futures — has annualized returns of 11 percent.

Growing up in Spokane, Washington, Loder didn’t plan on going into finance. But he did have an interest in global affairs, so he decided to pursue a degree in international finance. “I wasn’t sure what that meant,” he confides.

“Nobody in my family had come anywhere close to the [financial] industry,” he says. Loder’s father was an outfitter, taking people on hunting and fishing trips in Idaho. His mother once ran a ballet studio; she is now a psychologist.

While most of his three dozen clients came through relationships developed through the Mormon Church, where he is now a bishop, Cohalo has one international client: a Nordic institution that allocates to other managers.

Devon Long

Bridgewater Associates

Devon Long wasn’t exposed to finance until near the end of his studies at Harvard. The Atlanta native had considered a career in medicine but ended up studying computer science, thinking perhaps he would be a software engineer like his father.

His greatest interest, he realized, was solving puzzles. And when he was introduced to some executives from Bridgewater Associates during his junior year and read some of its research, he thought that was exactly what the hedge fund was trying to do.

“Their research opened up my mind,” says Long.

“I’d always been very interested in economics and mathematics,” he says, especially in “trying to understand complicated systems by breaking them down into simple intuitive, digestible pieces and then building those pieces back up to explain the whole.” That’s what he thought Bridgewater was trying to do — “to understand markets and economies and take that fundamental approach of breaking down a complicated system.”

He landed an internship at Bridgewater in 2012 and has been “hooked” on the firm ever since.

Over the dozen years he has been at the Westport, Connecticut hedge fund, Long has risen through the ranks, starting as an analyst on the trading analytics team, which is responsible for overseeing the execution of Bridgewater trades and analyzing transaction costs. He later was tapped to head what he describes as a broad systemization project. “When we come up with investment ideas, we turn them into these timeless rules and indicators that we can codify.”

Two years ago he also became the co-head of what Bridgewater calls “investment implementation.” Overseeing nearly 100 investment professionals, Long is responsible for the firm’s trade execution, portfolio management, data, and investment operations. He is also a lead investor partnering with Bridgewater’s technology and engineering functions to design Bridgewater’s platforms to systematically manage money at scale.

“It’s kind of like having an engineering approach and mindset,” he explains. “Building a complicated system by breaking it down into parts and putting those parts together really, really appealed to me.”

The engineer in Long also finds expression in his current passion: baking. “It’s precise and can be a bit unforgiving, but it does help you relax,” he says.

Long says he doesn’t have much time for hobbies these days. Not only does he have a demanding job at Bridgewater, he also has two daughters and another child on the way. But he likes to chill out by baking bread and pizza. His daughters also love the shortbread cookies he makes. “It’s so much fun with my kid. She gets covered in flour.”

Jeffrey Park

Bitwise Asset Management

Many early crypto fans cite the upending of the world banking order in 2008 as the “aha” moment when they began to turn against fiat currency, priming them to embrace Bitcoin once it emerged. But Jeffrey Park, who is now the head of alpha strategies and portfolio manager at Bitwise Asset Management, had an earlier experience that helped form his attachment to all things crypto.

Park was in the fourth grade and living in South Korea when the 1997 Asian financial crisis erupted and the International Monetary Fund was forced to bail out the country after its currency collapsed. “You get a sense that the sovereignty of a fiat-based currency monetary system may not actually be as strong if you don’t grow up in the U.S. thinking about the dollar as a given,” he says.

When Park hit middle school age, his family moved to New Jersey where his dad continued to work for Samsung Electronics, as he had in Korea. The young Korean immigrant later moved to California to study at Stanford University.

After graduating in 2008, Park joined the New York trading floor of Morgan Stanley — just in time for the financial crisis. When he discovered the existence of Bitcoin two years later, he says, “I fell in love with the idea. I already had a sense that most of the financial systems that I’ve now got to see upfront was not as robust or anti-fragile as we would all have liked to believe.”

Park first invested his personal wealth in Bitcoin in 2013, when he was working at the Harvard Management Company as part of Jack Meyer’s internal hedge fund. Harvard did not invest directly in crypto, but Park got a chance to do that at Corbin Capital, where he worked for 10 years after leaving Harvard. At Corbin, he spearheaded the digital assets investing effort in 2017 and became a partner.

Park says he wanted to be at a firm that focused on crypto full-time and joined the $4 billion Bitwise in 2022. The timing was auspicious, given that crypto was headed for a huge downturn that year. But Park had been through its ups and downs before. And while its institutional adoption went nowhere for two years, the regulatory approval of several crypto exchange-traded funds has cracked the door open slightly.

Park runs Bitwise’s flagship multistrategy vehicle and is tasked with building the actively managed side of the business. It still isn’t easy attracting institutional money; the fund has only $25 million. But the returns are robust, annualizing at 26 percent net, with a volatility of 15 since launch two years ago. “That gives you a sense for the institutional return profile we’re targeting. We’re trying to produce an uncorrelated 25 percent type return bull market, bear market, good year or bad.”

Luke Rodino

RPD Fund Management

When Luke Rodino joined RPD Fund Management at the age of 27 two years ago to run fundraising for the new hedge fund, he says founder Ahmet Okumus was “taking a chance on a young, hungry scrappy guy to help him build his business.”

Rodino, however, already had an impressive CV. After graduating from Williams College, he went to work at JP Morgan for a year and a half. Then in 2018 Rodino was scooped up by AQR Capital Management, where he became part of what he calls its “marketing machine.” AQR was hitting a rough patch. “I learned how to add value from a business development perspective when performance wasn’t necessarily going well,” Rodino says.

He has been on the fundraising side of the hedge fund business ever since, with his next stop being Boaz Weinstein’s Saba Capital. Rodino’s experience at Saba was quite the opposite of what he dealt with at AQR. He joined Saba in 2020, when the main fund there finished up close to 75 percent net and was quickly able to raise $2 billion.

RPD is another success story. Okumus launched the fund in 2021. Before that he had run a family office after shutting down his former hedge fund, Okumus Capital, during the financial crisis. At launch RPD had about $300 million in assets under management, but after gaining 50 percent net in its first year, RPD’s assets have doubled.

Rodino joined the fund in 2022 as the head of business development. That year the tech bubble burst, and the stock market fell around 18 percent. But RPD’s main fund was up 8 percent net and has never had a down year. It now has annualized returns of 16 percent.

“I’ve raised a little north of $260 million for the firm, so we’ve done quite well in scaling the business during what I would argue is a very difficult fundraising environment, especially for equity long-short, single PM, strategies,” says Rodino.

The world of finance wasn’t on Rodino’s radar before he went to college. Until his mid-teens, he had hoped to be a professional baseball player. He grew up in Livingston, New Jersey, less than an hour from Manhattan, where his dad ran the Harvard Club of New York City’s Fitness Center and at one time was a personal trainer for executives at Tiger Management. His mother was a New Jersey public school educator.

It was his mother’s work that gave him insight into the value of hedge funds.

When he joined AQR, he saw a mention of New Jersey’s public school teacher retirement system. “That was the moment I realized there’s real material impact for what we do in finance,” he says.

Phil Stone


Phil Stone’s interest in banking came from his grandfather, one of the founders of Calvert Bank in southern Maryland. “I lived in the middle of a tobacco field and I understood the good things these community and regional banks do for their community,” says Stone, who ten years ago launched Fourthstone, a St. Louis-based hedge fund specializing in financial stocks.

As a child Stone liked to read the newspaper stock tickers and prices to his grandfather, who Stone says was his closest male relationship. “I had dreams of the greatness of Wall Street,” he says. “You watch CNBC, you read all the books about famous investors and watch the movies. Those were the starry-eyed dreams I had.”

After college, Stone went to work for a local regional bank. And by 2003 he was off to Wall Street, where he joined a small hedge fund called Lycos.

The early aughts were heady days for the banking industry But, as Stone notes, “Eventually what was really good for banks and financial institutions turned into the 2008 crisis. So it was a great time to learn and understand all the things that can go well, but also the things that obviously don’t end up so well.”

In 2007 he joined a family office and later started a family office of his own. That’s where he launched the investing strategy he now runs at Fourthstone. “It’s all I do. I live and breathe it. I haven’t had a vacation day in probably 16 or 17 years. Every publicly traded bank — I mean, I’ve been long ‘em, I’ve been short ‘em, I’ve met ‘em personally. We’ve seen a lot.”

The hedge fund started off as a husband-wife team with Stone and his wife Amy, who was working in St. Louis for Motorola. Stone had lived in New York for 10 years, where the two met. He commuted from New York for two years after they started the hedge fund but eventually moved to St. Louis, which he says is a “big enough city” and also “very kid friendly.”

Fourthstone, which now manages $600 million and has a staff of 12 people, benchmarks itself against the Nasdaq bank index. It not only manages to beat that index but in years in which that index has been in the red, Fourthstone has been positive. “If your bank index is down 25 and you’re down 20, that doesn’t help anybody,” says Stone. (He declined to give the fund’s returns, citing compliance concerns.)

Some of the best opportunities for the hedge fund occur when bank stocks fall, as they did after Silicon Valley Bank collapsed last year. “We haven’t been short of opportunities to come in and buy cheap stock,” he says.