On Thursday, October 13, CFANY hosted the Emerging Managers Forum, where members and attendees learned from industry experts on all facets of emerging manager seeding and hedge fund startup.

“I think this event represents the best of what CFANY is about,” Patrick Holert, CFA, CAIA, began.

In all, over 150 men and women gathered in the CFANY Conference Center, engaging amongst peers—all interested in playing the hedge fund game in some form—and participating in a wonderfully, fully-catered event.

The 79-year-old member society has seen a 74% year-on-year increase in program attendance, and currently boasts a 22% spike in year-on-year membership.

Delivering opening remarks, Holert, a CFANY board member as well as Vice president and Research Principal for BBVA Securities, continued.

“CFANY is about bringing people together to provide educational programs and networking opportunities throughout our members’ various stages of their respective careers,” Holert said. “This here is a very good effort in that direction.”

Keynote speaker Andrew D. Beer, Founder and Managing Partner of Beachhead Capital Management, LLC, took to the podium next. He emphasized how much the world changed following the financial crisis in 2006 and—in the wake of Bernie Madoff’s fraud—even more so since December 2008.

“The way people think about small funds versus large funds has changed,” said Beer, who has been in the business since 1994 and now presides over his fourth emerging hedge fund. “All capital, post-crisis, has gone to larger managers.”

There are still pockets of opportunity, however, Beer offered, before introducing the first panel.

The panel, moderated by Robert Akeson, included Vincent Sarullo, Mohsen Moayer, Michael Tannenbaum, Frank Magnani and Tania Lynn Taylor, CFA, CPA, and and explored how to successfully launch a hedge fund.

The most common mistake managers make, says Sarullo, CEO of Tower Fund Services, is the “build it and they will come” mentality.

“They just fall back on their comfort zone and think there their results in trading is going to have the money rolling in. It comes down to the business plan. How are you getting the word out? How are you interacting with your investors?”

A brief break and another round of fresh food and beverages served as an opportunity for attendees to discuss insights gleaned. That paved the way for a second panel—a group of graduated emerging managers—comprised by Daniel B Sheridan, CFA, Nicolas Martin, CFA, Anna Nikolayevsky and Svetlana Lee, and moderated by Sidney Hardee, CFA.

During the post-panel Q&A with the audience, Svetlana Lee—Founder, Portfolio Manager and CIO of Varna Capital—urged how crucial personality is to her throughout the hiring process.

“You have to recognize that there are different personality types and whether each is suited for what your function will be on this small team,” Lee said. “And you’d be amazed at how many people with a great rolodex aren’t someone you’d want to have a beer with, and that can really matter.”

The final panel was moderated by Brian M. Gillot and included investment managers and asset allocators Michael Weinberg, CFA, Jeffrey Spotts, CMT, Eric J. Hoerdemann, CFA, and Ari Glass.

Said Hoerdemann, Partner and Chief of Research and Risk at Stride Capital: “It’s easy to find players; it’s very, very difficult to find differentiated strategies.”

by Jared Steckler

CFANY would like to thank to following sponsors for making this event possible: Deloitte (Gold Sponsors), Interactive Brokers (Booth Sponsors), B(W) Cyber Services (Speaker Sponsors), Tower Fund Services (Speaker Sponsors), Mirae Asset Financial Group (Speaker Sponsors).