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The 2013 Hedge Fund Rising Stars

This year’s hedge fund overachievers are diverse in background and location.

Anyone who thinks women don’t make good traders should meet Nehal Chopra, founder of New York hedge fund firm Ratan Capital Management. Chopra is one of an elite handful of managers singled out by Julian Robertson Jr.’s Tiger Management Corp. for special support from among those it has seeded.

Like many of the 30 executives and investment professionals on Institutional Investor’s 2013 Hedge Fund Rising Stars list, Chopra shows how much more diverse the hedge fund industry has become since the 1990s, when it was dominated by middle-class white men with Ivy League educations who launched their firms in New York or Connecticut. Hedge funds have benefited from admitting a wider range of talent, from Andrew Adams, an Iraq combat veteran who is investor relations director at Capula Investment Management, to Hong Kong–raised Heidi Poon, investment officer at San Jose, California’s employee retirement system.

As institutional investors embrace hedge funds, this year’s list also reveals a geographic shift. After working in New York and London, for example, Edmond Fong became an investment director with the University of California treasurer’s office. Ryan Randall left the San Francisco area and is now an investment officer for Virginia’s Fairfax County Retirement Systems.

Of course, there are still plenty of traditional markers on the road to hedge fund success. At least five of the Rising Stars have degrees from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Most of them hold MBAs, and many started out at major investment banks.

The fourth-annual Rising Stars list began with a February call for nominations. Our editorial staff vetted the nominees before we gathered more names by reaching out to the industry. Given the difficulty of succeeding in today’s market, the talent pool celebrated here is arguably stronger than ever.

Fong, Randall and others highlight another growing trend: hedge fund employees becoming allocators at pension funds, foundations and endowments. This shift is helping to create a sophisticated and knowledgeable group of hedge fund investors — one that is keen to foster the next generation of talent.

 Click name to view ranking profile.
NameFirm
Andrew AdamsCapula InvestmentManagement
Garrett BergBlueCrest Capital Management
Wai Yee ChengTexas TreasurySafekeeping Trust Co.
Nehal ChopraRatan Capital Management
Mark CohenStone House Capital Management
Sara CottonBessemer Trust
Jame DonathMagnolia Road Capital
Edmond FongOffice of the Treasurer of the Regents, University of California
Michael GradMillennium Management
Imran HussainInfineon Capital Management
Jeff KellySummit Rock Advisors
Soohyung KimStandard General
Rachel KortHall Capital Partners
Samantha LevensteinAksia
Robert LittlePennsylvania Public School
Employees’ Retirement System
Thierry Lucas Portland Hill Capital
Meaghan MahoneyRiver Birch Capital
Apurva MehtaCook Children's Health Care System
Marc MezvinskyEaglevale Partners
Eric PellicciaroMariner Investment Group
Robert PolakAnchor Bolt Capital
Heidi PoonFederated City Employees’
Retirement System
Terrence PurcellConnecticut Retirement Plans
and Trust Funds
Ryan RandallFairfax County Retirement Systems
Elliot RudaFir Tree Partners
Nicole SolomonOcean Road Advisors
David SwiftFortress Investment Group
Vikas TandonBastogne Capital Management
Pasy WangCalifornia Institute of Technology
Jesse WatsonVirgo Investment Group

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