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Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Heidi Poon

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Heidi Poon
Federated City Employees’ Retirement System

The $1.8 billion Federated City Employees’ Retirement System of San Jose, California, recently made its first allocations to hedge fund managers, and investment officer Heidi Poon has been right on the front lines. Poon, 37, who grew up in Hong Kong and attended boarding school in Massachusetts, has a BS in industrial engineering from Stanford University and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She started out as a research assistant at Prudential Securities before joining San Francisco–based investment bank Robertson Stephens as an associate. Poon moved to the San Jose pension fund, which is based in the Bay Area, in August 2010. Against a backdrop of significant staff turnover, budget cuts and pension funding shortfalls, she’s led the investment team as it has moved into hedge funds. City Employees’ absolute-return mandates include commitments to U.K. firms BlueCrest Capital Management and Cantab Capital Partners as well as to New York–based D.E. Shaw & Co. and Senator Investment Group.