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The 2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: William Freda
For Graticule Asset Management Asia’s William Freda, there’s no escaping the 24-hour trading cycle of a global macro fund.
William Freda found his first job in finance through Monster.com. In 2003, Freda, newly graduated from Fairfield University in Connecticut, where he majored in business, was using the job search website when up popped a post in the back office of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in New York. His second finance job was with a firm launched by a TV ratings monster: New York hedge fund firm Cramer, Berkowitz & Co. When Freda joined as a trader in 2004, founder and CNBC stock-picking personality Jim Cramer had already retired from investing, leaving his former business partner, Jeff Berkowitz, and Matthew Jacobs in charge. Freda, who grew up in New Jersey and has an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management in New York, stayed at Cramer Berkowitz until Fortress Investment Group hired him in 2007.
New York–based Fortress was in expansion mode after recently becoming one of the first alternative-investment firms to launch an initial public offering. Freda, 35, worked as an equity trader in the liquid markets group under macro specialists Michael Novogratz and Adam Levinson. He worked on a team headed by Peter Swartz, a senior portfolio manager for the Fortress Asia Macro funds and a longtime specialist in technology, media and telecommunications stocks. When Levinson spun out from Fortress in 2015 to start his own firm, Graticule Asset Management Asia (GAMA), Swartz went along too with his team, including Freda.
With the formation of GAMA, Levinson moved from New York to Singapore. Swartz and his group also relocated, but only as far as San Francisco. Today managing director Freda, whose father was a senior executive with accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu until his recent retirement, trades equities and commodities. Working for a global macro hedge fund firm like GAMA has its challenges: Freda needs to be in the office by 4:00 in the morning, before the U.S. markets open. However, those early hours suit the father of two young children.
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