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The 2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Brandon Levin

Levin covers the waterfront as head of trading and syndicate at event-driven JANA Partners.

Brandon Levin
Jana Partners

Brandon Levin fell in love with trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The Potomac, Maryland, native started out as a premed student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, thinking he would follow in the footsteps of his dad, a thoracic and cardiac surgeon. But his heart wasn’t in it. So, having always been good at math, Levin switched his major to economics. His uncle, who headed the trading desk at investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, set him up with a summer internship at the NYSE. Levin, now 39, had found his calling.

In 1999 he joined the Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst training program in New York. Levin requested to go into, and was picked by, the equities business, which returned him to the NYSE’s trading floor for a year. He enjoyed his work so much that he even convinced his younger brother (and fellow Hedge Fund Rising Star), Jonathan, to go into the industry.

After four years in equity trading with Merrill Lynch, Levin was ready for a bigger challenge. Keen to be more than a sector-focused execution trader, he wanted to expand his range and contribute to a profit-and-loss bottom line. He found a job at Och-Ziff Capital Management, where as the hedge fund firm’s No. 2 trader in the U.S. he spanned every equities sector and learned the syndication business. When former SAC Capital Advisors star trader Matthew Grossman launched his own firm, Plural Investments, in 2008, he tapped Levin. Within a few months Levin was running the trading desk at Plural; he got his own tactical trading allocation and built up a syndication franchise.

In 2012, Levin moved to event-driven hedge fund firm JANA Partners, which manages approximately $10 billion, as head of trading and syndicate. Over the past four years at New York–based JANA, he has operationally restructured and greatly improved the efficiency of the trading desk.

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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