Some managers among Tomorrow’s Titans are hard closed already, but may be accessible via secondary markets or exchange-listed vehicles.
A broad spectrum of the investment industry contributed to the survey, often on a confidential basis. Amongst allocators, we spoke to pension funds, endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth funds, funds of hedge funds, family offices, insurance companies, wealthy individuals, third party marketing agents and investment consultants. We also canvassed the full range of service providers. All nominations were put on a long list from which we made a final selection of 40.
The spread of strategies was wide but didn’t feature any managers from the growing “alternatives to alternatives” space. Most managers are traders in macro, commodities, equities or credit: broad and liquid asset classes that weathered 2008 relatively well. Arbitrageurs are few and far between, probably because the more directional strategies generate bigger performance numbers.
The survey focused strictly on hedge fund portfolio managers, and excluded allocators, advisers and service providers.
The geographic distribution of the 40 reveals 17 in the US, 18 in Europe and the rest in Asia and elsewhere. We have grouped the 40 by region, but within each region the 40 are ordered randomly.
Nearly all of the managers exhibited academic excellence before commencing their investment careers. This is not surprising when most entry level positions in the investment industry are rationed according to stringent academic credentials. A handful of managers even had their first jobs in academic research rather than finance. None of them seemed to have followed the post room route to hedge fund nirvana.
The final 40 were selected on the basis of their performance as hedge fund managers, the extent of their portfolio management responsibilities and testimonials from investors. Several of the 40 have important behind the scenes roles but aren’t yet the lead portfolio manager. We only considered legal disputes to be a potentially disqualifying factor if a suit directly impacted investment performance. Other types of litigation relating to employment, divorce or personal matters were ignored.