This content is from: Portfolio

The 2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Yusef Kassim

Blue Harbour Group’s Kassim knows the importance of getting a foot in the right door.

Yusef Kassim
Blue Harbour Group

For Yusef Kassim, 39, succeeding in hedge funds has reinforced the importance of his early opportunities to learn about business and industry. He co-founded and sits on the governing board of America Needs You, a national nonprofit that secures professional internships and aids in career development for first-generation college students.

Kassim’s parents came to the U.S. in the early 1970s from the war-torn West African nation of Sierra Leone. Arriving separately with nothing, they met through the Sierra Leone diaspora community in Washington, D.C. Married and still in their early 20s, the couple attended college while bringing up Kassim and his brothers. The Kassim household was a small inner-city apartment that always housed at least eight to ten people, including aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Kassim’s father earned his Ph.D. in chemistry, and his mother became a social worker. Kassim went to public school in D.C. before attending the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in systems engineering with a minor in mathematics.

Entering the Ivy League was life-changing: He started learning about the world of finance and the depth and diversity of opportunities that awaited him. During his senior year, Kassim won a spot in Goldman Sachs Group’s analyst training program in New York, working in the equities division. In 1999 he joined the firm’s new prime brokerage group.

Two years later Kassim made a leap of faith and moved to Gerson Lehrman Group, a New York–based research start-up that offers hedge fund managers access to sector industry experts. At GLG, where he was co-head of and built up the technology, media and telecommunications business, his client service skills stood out. In 2007, Kassim was hired away by one of his local hedge fund clients, R6 Capital Management, to head marketing and investor relations. Within a year, R6 merged into Eton Park Capital Management, Goldman Sachs alumnus Eric Mindich’s multistrategy hedge fund firm. Kassim was absorbed into the investor relations team at $8.5 billion, New York–headquartered Eton Park. Last year Blue Harbour Group, a $3.3 billion activist hedge fund firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut, hired him as a managing director and partner within investor relations.

Visit the 2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Ivy League Schools Pave the Way for more.

Hedge Fund Rising Stars of 2016

Jessye Ball
Millennium Mgmt
Sarah Berner
Aristeia Capital
Jenna Bussman-Wise
AIG Investments
Maureen Chang
Point72 Asset Mgmt
Dennis Chenfu
Charles Dufresne Jr.
Sciens Capital Mgmt
William Freda
Graticule Asset Mgmt Asia
Samantha Greenberg
Margate Capital
Mark Gurevich
Ropes & Gray
Tal Gurion
Mariner Glen Oaks
Craig Huie
University of California
Yusef Kassim
Blue Harbour Group
Florian Kronawitter
White Square Capital
Vikram Kumar
TT International
Brandon Levin
Jana Partners
Jonathan Levin
George Weiss Associates
Brett Minarik
Ian Monroe
Etho Capital
Jason Morrow
Utah Retirement Systems
Pierre-Adrien Nicolas
Squarepoint Capital
Jamie Pabst
Green Owl Capital Mgmt
Parag Pande
Blackstone Group
Agata Praczuk
Max Saffian
Fortress Investment Group
Matt Satnick
MSD Partners
Eric Singer
Viex Capital Advisors
Katina Stefanova
Marto Capital
Reginald Tucker
New York State Common Retirement Fund
Michael Wang
Cypress Funds
Sean Wygovsky
Polar Asset Mgmt Partners

Related Content