To succeed in finance, it helps to have great timing or good friends. Jame Donath has both. His new hedge fund firm, Magnolia Road Capital, is backed by Capricorn Investment Group, the family office of former eBay president Jeffrey Skoll. The firm focuses on global event-driven distressed credit, with an emphasis on Europe. Donath, 38, joined New Yorkbased distressed-credit specialist Davidson Kempner Capital Management in 2002, right after finishing his MBA at Harvard Business School. The Scarsdale, New York, natives timing couldnt have been better: Distressed debt, which involves investing in loans to low-rated companies, was about to boom. In 2004, Donath, who also has a BA in economics from Yale University, headed to London to run Davidson Kempners European operation. He returned to New York in early 2008 and was soon ready to go out on his own. After a short stint managing a credit fund for New York hedge fund Karsch Capital Management, Donath teamed up with Capricorn, from whose New York office Magnolia Road started trading on May 1.
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