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The 2015 Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Ryan Kilstein

After a stint on the West Coast, seasoned analyst Kilstein returned to New York in 2013 to join Southpoint Capital Advisors.

Ryan Kilstein

In April 2013 Ryan Kilstein took an analyst position at $3 billion, New York–based Southpoint Capital Advisors. He had known the principals, who previously worked for Greenlight Capital, the New York activist and event-driven hedge fund firm founded by David Einhorn, for about a decade. For Kilstein, who had spent the previous three years on the West Coast, the move was something of a homecoming. He grew up in the Philadelphia area, where his father was a lawyer and his mother a homemaker. Many members of his mother’s family were doctors (his maternal cousin adapted ultrasound from military application to medical use), so it makes sense that he considered a career in medicine. After getting accepted with a scholarship to George Washington University, Kilstein started off as a pre-med engineering student, but he switched majors, earning a finance degree. All that medical knowledge didn’t go to waste: His first job out of college in 1999 was as a banking analyst in the health care group at Banc of America Securities. In 2001 he joined the small, concentrated and activist hedge fund firm Marathon Partners, where he was a generalist. Marathon did well and Kilstein thrived, but like every hedge fund that didn’t put up gates, the New York–based firm founded by Mario Cibelli suffered redemptions in 2008. Kilstein, 37, had to weigh his options; following a brief spell at an activist hedge fund in Connecticut, he and his wife moved their family to Los Angeles. Kilstein joined the event-driven hedge fund Empyrean Capital Partners. After a little more than two years, though, the couple missed the East Coast; and so Kilstein came back to New York with Southpoint Capital.

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