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Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Drew McKnight

Drew McKnight
Fortress Investment Group

Last June, when Andrew McKnight moved himself and his young family to San Francisco, he had little choice. The credit group at Fortress Investment Group, led by Peter Briger Jr. and Constantine (Dean) Dakolias, was relocating there from New York, and McKnight, now 34, was a senior member of the investment staff. A graduate of the University of Virginia, from which he received a BA in economics, McKnight joined Fortress in 2005 after working for hedge fund manager Fir Tree Partners and at ­Goldman, Sachs & Co. It was while working on ­Goldman’s distressed-­debt trading desk that McKnight became aware of Briger’s talent and decided he wanted to work for him. At Fortress, ­McKnight’s responsibilities include corporate distressed loans and bonds, and he has worked on some of the credit group’s most innovative and high-­pressure transactions. Among them was last year’s negotiated purchase of $205 million in preferred shares of Harbinger Group, the publicly traded entity owned by the now notorious hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, who is currently struggling owing to the investment of his hedge fund firm, Harbinger Capital Partners, in troubled telecommunications company LightSquared.

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