Networking and Knowledge Building for Hedge-Fund Professionals

One of Wharton’s most prestigious alumni affinity groups celebrated its 40th meeting on Nov. 16.

The Wharton Hedge Fund Network (WHFN) was founded in 2005 under the Wharton Club of New York (WCNY) with the aim of connecting Wharton alumni active in the greater hedge-fund community. WHFN aspires to be a trusted source of insights, investment opportunities and connections.

Attendance at WHFN events is by invitation only. Only Wharton alumni employed in the hedge-fund space may apply.

Despite its strict membership policy, WHFN has grown significantly during the past six years. According to co-founder, Jewel Huijnen, WG’03, of Two Sigma Investments, WHFN began with about 75 members but now has grown ten-fold to 750 as of last count in 2011. According to Charles Kornblith, W’05, of JANA Partners, the Network attracts professionals working at hedge funds, allocators to hedge funds and dedicated service providers active in the hedge fund space.

Gathering at the offices of Roger Saks, W’92, managing director at Barclays Capital, attendees of the Network’s 40th event enjoyed a panel discussion about current best practices for building and managing the business of a hedge fund, titled “Under the Hood of Hedge Funds.”

Topics ranged from organizational size and structure, compensation practices and institutional expectations for back-office operations. The panel was made up of leading experts from the hedge fund, allocator and consultant perspectives: Christopher Addy, president and CEO of Castle Hall Alternatives in Montreal, Canada; Westley Chapman, managing director at Goldman Sachs; Patrick DeGraca, CAO of Two Sigma Investments; and Steve Vincent, CAO of Brigade Capital Management. Anurag Bhardwaj, WG’02, director of Barclays Capital Solutions, served as moderator.

Recent keynote and panel discussions of the Wharton Hedge Fund Network in New York have included discussions about opportunities in mortgages, CIO allocators, long/short equity, seeders and early allocators, and commodities.

In addition to the network, several other affinity groups thrive in the Wharton Club of New York—namely, the Wharton Education Network, the Wharton Entrepreneurs-Education and Resource Network, the Media & Entertainment Network, and the NonProfit and Social Impact Affinity Group.   

Among the 78 global clubs in the Global Wharton School Clubs Network, several are affinity clubs: some clubs are based on industry (such as the Aerospace Community, the Energy Network, the Health Care Management Alumni Association and the Private Equity Partners), some on activities (the Wharton Follies Alumni Association and the Pi Delta Epsilon fraternity), some by identity (Wharton Out for Business, for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender alumni).

To find a Wharton Affinity Club or regional club that suits your interests, visit http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/alumni/get-involved/clubs.cfm

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