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The 2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Jonathan Levin

Portfolio manager Levin of Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers had planned to become a computer scientist before his brother turned him on to finance.

Jonathan Levin
Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers

Jonathan Levin has had no shortage of mentors throughout his career. As a computer science major at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the early 2000s, Levin was set to follow the armies of programmers toward Silicon Valley until his older brother and fellow Hedge Fund Rising Star, Brandon, found work as a trader with investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co. The two started talking about finance, and Jonathan became so interested that he changed his major to economics.

After graduation Levin, 34, who grew up in Potomac, Maryland, as the son of a surgeon and the head of a high school English department, began training to be an accountant with professional services firm KPMG. But like many college graduates, he found accounting boring. With help from his brother, Levin started sitting in on the equity trading desks at several banks. Enjoying the energy of trading, he decided that this was what he wanted to do. In 2006, George Weiss Associates, now $6.4 billion Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers, hired Levin as a junior trader in New York.

On his first day he sat next to Jordi Visser, the firm’s president and CIO, and opposite chairman and CEO George Weiss. From Weiss and Visser he learned the arts of investing as well as trading, and how to view the world against a macroeconomic backdrop while also focusing on fundamentals and the markets. He had to be a quick study: Within a year, with the U.S. economy heading for turmoil, the senior trader on his team left. Levin managed on his own for four months, handling not only equities but Weiss’s largest options portfolio until a new trader arrived. A couple of years later, he was promoted to the team’s top job. In 2012 the firm let him spin out and gave him his own portfolio, on which he joins forces with a cyclicals analyst. The next year he made partner. Life in the hedge fund salt mines is no Silicon Valley, but Levin’s knowledge of computer programming has come in handy, especially during his early years at Weiss, when he built his own options risk management system.

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

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