Richard Scarinci learned the importance of reacting to shifts in customer preferences by watching his father’s pay phone business adapt to survive in a cell phone–dominated world. Today Scarinci, a 33-year-old managing director with Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, is at the front lines of the New York–based firm’s charge into the in-demand world of liquid alternatives. BAAM’s offering: a series of open-end mutual funds that offers daily liquidity while investing with hedge funds. White Plains, New York, native Scarinci began working at the $66 billion hedge fund allocator during the summer following his junior year at Princeton University, where he studied economics with a concentration in finance. The Blackstone hedge fund solutions group’s first intern, he took a full-time post after graduating in 2003. Two years later Scarinci moved to the firm’s London office, where he handled hedge fund manager evaluation, selection and monitoring within emerging-markets, fixed-income, global macro and systematic trading strategies. Back in New York in 2012, he was promoted to managing director and chosen as one of three portfolio managers overseeing BAAM’s first daily liquidity product, the Blackstone Alternative Multi-Manager Fund, which launched in 2013 with $1 billion in seed capital from Boston-based Fidelity Investments. With the launch of two new funds — another in the U.S. and one in Europe — last year, the firm now manages some $3.5 billion in liquid alternatives. The three funds, which rank near the top of their peer group for performance, have gained traction with a range of investors across the institutional and wirehouse segments, including sovereign wealth funds, pensions and high-net-worth individuals. As of March the $1.3 billion Blackstone Alternative Multi-Manager Fund had returned 7.5 percent in total since inception.