Recently, one of the most fertile areas for hedge fund investors has been event-driven and other special situations; few people know that sector better than Brian Goldberg, strategy head with Aksia, a New York–based alternative-investment advisory firm. Goldberg, 30, started with Aksia in April 2011 as an analyst before being promoted to equity-related event strategy head early last year. Part of what gives him an edge in understanding the space is his background in trading across asset classes. The New Jersey native attended Cornell University, where he received a BS in policy analysis and management. After graduating in 2006, Goldberg landed a job as an equity research analyst with GFI Group in New York. Founded by Michael (Mickey) Gooch in 1987, GFI was then the largest interdealer broker of credit default swaps and over-the-counter derivatives. The group that Goldberg joined researched the relationship between the equity and CDS markets. It was a time of rapid growth for derivatives, particularly in their use by banks and hedge funds; in mid-2008, Goldberg was recruited away by hedge fund firm SAC Capital Advisors. He became an equity execution trader for Stamford, Connecticut–based SAC’s quantitative strategies division based in New York. The hours were punishing: Goldberg traded the U.S. and European equity markets, often working the 2:30–9:30 a.m. shift; he also found time to study for and pass his Chartered Financial Analyst exams. In 2011 SAC disbanded his team. Goldberg decided that he wanted to be something other than an equity execution trader, so he joined Aksia, believing in the increasing importance of the investment adviser to the hedge fund ecosystem.