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The 2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Parag Pande

The Ziff Brothers alumnus is key portfolio manager of $2 billion Senfina Advisors, BAAM’s new fund-of-hedge-funds platform.

Parag Pande
Blackstone Group

When Daniel, Dirk and Robert Ziff began winding down their storied hedge fund program three years ago, it created a unique opportunity for investors and fund managers to plunder Ziff Brothers Investments’ talent pool, which included Parag Pande. A 13-year ZBI veteran, Pande managed the industries portfolio at the family office. Blackstone Alternative Asset Management hired him in early 2014 as the New York–based firm’s head of research.

A division of $311 billion alternative-investment giant Blackstone Group, BAAM is the world’s largest allocator to hedge funds, with investments worth $68 billion. In mid-2014 chief executive J. Tomilson Hill announced the formation of Blackstone Senfina Advisors, a multimanager hedge fund platform where Pande serves as key portfolio manager. Comprising 12 separate vehicles, the fund of hedge funds is based on what BAAM’s brain trust identifies as the best ideas from equity trading teams. The firm is looking to New York–based Senfina to compete with multistrategy players like Israel (Izzy) Englander’s Millennium Management and Kenneth Griffin’s Citadel.

Senfina, which has amassed nearly $2 billion in assets, gained 20 percent last year. Like many hedge funds, it stumbled out of the gate in 2016, losing 15 percent during the first three months before regaining some ground in March. Under Pande, Senfina, which means “everlasting” in Esperanto, is planning to expand to London and build out its management team. On a January earnings call, Blackstone chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman called the platform the “real star” of his firm’s hedge fund business.

Pande, 41, who grew up in the Detroit area, is ever the Blue Devil. The Duke University economics major and biology minor still gives the occasional guest lecture on financial markets when visiting his college town of Durham, North Carolina. He’s an avid supporter of the Emily Krzyzewski Center, a children’s education–focused nonprofit named in honor of the mother of longtime Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. Pande’s philanthropic efforts have global reach: He also backs India-based aid organization Child Rights and You.

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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