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The 2016 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Ivy League Schools Pave the Way

This year we examined the colleges that produced our most recent hedge fund rising stars. It turns out you don’t have to graduate from an Ivy League university (but it helps).

  • By Imogen Rose-Smith

The hottest commodities at hedge fund firms today are the people. The industry has grown to nearly $3 trillion in assets, up from $1 trillion a decade ago, and truly exceptional individuals are at a premium, as evidenced by Institutional Investor’s annual Hedge Fund Rising Stars ranking. To see where hedge funds are sourcing their talent, we took a look back over the educational records of our Rising Stars. The most popular avenue into hedge funds is the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Of the 180 Hedge Fund Rising Stars named between 2011 and 2016, ten had undergraduate degrees from the prestigious business school and another ten had received a Wharton MBA. Other Ivy League schools also are popular among hedge funds, as are Stanford and the University of California.

Yet Institutional Investor’s list consistently includes stars with less typical backgrounds, like Katina Stefanova, who came to the U.S. from Bulgaria in 1994 to earn a BA in international relations from Brigham Young University. She also has an MBA from Harvard. Now Stefanova, who worked for almost ten years at Bridgewater Associates, is launching her own firm, intent on disrupting the asset management industry. (Read Stefanova's recent feature, “Asset Managers, Prepare to Have Your Business Disrupted.”) •

  Hedge Fund Rising Stars of 2016 Click below to view profiles
Jessye Ball Millennium Mgmt Sarah Berner Aristeia Capital Jenna Bussman-Wise AIG Investments Maureen Chang Point72 Asset Mgmt Dennis Chenfu Pershing
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 Aksia 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 MetLife 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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