Here are the star traders trying to become the hedge fund honchos of tomorrow

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Wikimedia Commons

It may be tough to run a hedge fund, but that isn’t stopping senior-level folks from trying to branch out on their own.

Here’s a short and nonexhaustive list of some of the top new funds to have come across our radar.

The competition to raise assets is steep, particularly for startups that don’t have long performance track records to woo investors. Instead, new managers often rely on the pedigrees of their previous employers and the backing of high-and-mighty investment titans to sway potential investors to open their checkbooks.

Recent data is not the most promising, however, with more hedge funds closing than opening. In 2015, 979 hedge funds closed their doors while 968 opened. This year through the first quarter, 291 have shut while 206 opened, Hedge Fund Research data shows.

But the glory of raising assets, running one’s own proper business and investment strategy, and the (potentially very lucrative) benefit of charging high fees are alluring. At the moment, the global hedge fund industry is managing close to its peak in assets, at about $2.9 trillion, HFR says.

To the new startups, bon courage.


Samantha Greenberg — Margate Capital

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Samantha Greenberg.
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LinkedIn

Samantha Greenberg, one of the hedge fund industry’s most senior women, left Paulson & Co. and is starting Margate Capital, a long/short equity fund. She recently hired Jared Weisfeld from Balyasny Asset Management as a partner and is targeting $500 million when the firm launches later this year.


Ben Melkman

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Thomson Reuters

Ben Melkman, a former partner at Brevan Howard Asset Management, is launching a macro hedge fund in New York. The fund is targeting $400 million and a launch date in the first quarter of next year. The firm is bringing on Joe Mauro, a former Goldman Sachs partner.

Melkman was the lead manager on Brevan’s $500 million Argentina fund, which has delivered 18% since its inception.


Josh Donfeld and Dave Rogers — Castle Hook Partners

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Daniel Hartwig /Flickr

Legendary investor Stan Druckenmiller is backing duo Josh Donfeld and Dave Rogers in their new launch. It will be Druckenmiller’s second-largest investment in a new hedge fund since he backed PointState Capital with $1 billion in 2011.

Donfeld and Rogers previously worked at George Soros’ family office as portfolio managers. They are planning to launch New York-based Castle Hook Partners later this year or in the first part of next year.

Castle Hook will invest in equity, credit, commodities, interest rates, and foreign exchanges.


Ravi Chopra — Azora Capital

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REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Ravi Chopra, who focuses on financial stocks, previously worked for multibillion Samlyn Capital through April, and a SAC Capital subsidiary, Sigma Capital, before that.

Chopra is in the early stages of prepping a New York-based fund that focuses making long and short bets on stocks.


Michael Millette and David Andrews — Hudson Structured Capital Management

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Michael Millette.
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LinkedIn

This Blackstone-backed firm was launched by Michael Millette, former global head of structured finance at Goldman Sachs, and David Andrews, a former executive VP at Pimco, where he was the primary credit portfolio manager covering transportation.

The firm, based in Stamford, Connecticut, focuses on reinsurance and transportation investing.

Blackstone has invested $250 million with the firm, which was set up in January 2016, according to a regulatory filing.


Luke Sadrian — Commodities World Capital

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Thomson Reuters

LukeSadrian, a commodities specialist, previously worked as a trader at Louis Bacon’s Moore Capital and Brevan Howard Asset Management.

Sadrian is prepping a commodities-focused launch in London for the second half of this year. The new firm, Commodities World Capital, will focus on futures and options in commodities and will focus risk within the metals sector, Sadrian told Business Insider.

The firm is aiming to raise about $100 million through one or two founding investors and running that capital for about half a year before taking in new investors.


Seth Wunder — Black and White Capital

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The Club Hotel

Seth Wunder, the cofounder of $1.4 billion Contour Asset Management, is in the early stages of prepping a new hedge fund in Los Angeles, Business Insider previously reported.

The firm is slated to be called Black and White Capital. At Contour, Wunder focused on investing in stocks in the technology, media, and telecoms space.


Aurelia Lamorre-Cargill and Marcos Bueno — Argon Capital

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Aurelia Lamorre-Cargill.
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LinkedIn

Argon Capital is a commodities-focused multistrategy fund that is targeting $500 million when it launches in the first quarter of next year, according to the firm’s spokesman.

Aurelia Lamorre-Cargill, former global head of fixed income structuring at Barclays, and Marcos Bueno, a former partner and portfolio manager at Graham Capital, founded the firm.

The New York-based hedge fund is one of the few with a woman at the helm. Lamorre-Cargill is the firm’s CEO.

The firm highlights its risk management as a plus for potential investors. Earlier this year, Argon brought on investment staff that had previously worked at Moore Capital, Caxton Associates, and Tudor Investment Corp., according to a press statement.


Richard Herman and Louis Jaffe — Montrock48 Capital

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Richard Herman.
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LinkedIn

Richard Herman and Louis Jaffe launched Montrock48 Capital, a macro fund, and started trading earlier this month, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The pair previously worked at Deutsche Bank, where Herman headed fixed income and currencies and Jaffe was a managing director.

It’s unclear how much the firm has raised so far, though a public filing shows a sale of $12.9 million to an investor earlier in July.


Rob Allard and Jonathan Egol — Firebreak Capital

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Rob Allard.
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LinkedIn

Robert Allard and Jonathan Egol are launching Firebreak Capital later this year and are targeting $150 million to $200 million for their private debt fund, according to a spokesman.

Allard and Egol previously worked at Goldman Sachs. Allard was headed of structured product origination and distribution; Egol headed the mortgage collateralized debt obligation, correlation and derivatives trading business.


Joe Cornell — Bluegrass Capital Partners

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Joe Cornell.
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LinkedIn

Joe Cornell, a former managing director at Chilton Investment Co., is launching an equity fund making long and short bets, Business Insider previously reported. The fund will use a generalist, fundamental strategy.

Richard Chilton and his firm are backing the New York-based startup, which is set to be called Bluegrass Capital Partners.

“I have a lot of confidence in Joe’s abilities,” Chilton previously told Business Insider.


Chris Rokos — Rokos Capital

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Thomson Reuters

Brevan Howard cofounder Chris Rokos launched his new firm after a lengthy noncompete battle with his previous employer.

London-based Rokos Capital has since raised at least $3.5 billion as of earlier this year, making it one of the biggest launches in recent memory.

Rokos and another Brevan spinout by Ben Melkman are expected to receive capital from investors withdrawing from Brevan Howard, which is preparing for a “worst-case scenario” as performance wanes, Business Insider previously reported.


Edward Eisler — Eisler Capital

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Reuters/ Lucas Jackson

Ex-Goldman Sachs trader Ed Eisler launched one of the industry’s bigger funds and was raising close to a billion as of last year. The London firm focuses on a macro strategy. Eisler is the former cohead of Goldman’s global securities division.

Eisler Capital was registered with the proper UK authorities as of March, according to a public filing.


Ed DeNoble and Harvey Felman — Frontlight Capital

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Harvard University campus.
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Michael Hicks/Flickr

Boston-based Frontlight Capital is using a macro strategy and planning to launch later this year, according to a spokesman.

Ed DeNoble, Frontlight’s chief investment officer, previously worked as a portfolio manager at Convexity Capital and Harvard University’s endowment.

Harvey Felman is the chief operating officer of the firm. He previously worked at JPMorgan Chase as managing director of emerging-market fixed-income sales, a LinkedIn profile shows.


Paul Hilal

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Bill Ackman.
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Reuters

Paul Hilal, Bill Ackman’s former second-in-command, is in the early stages of prepping a fund, though few details are available. Hilal declined to comment.

Hilal left Pershing Square, Ackman’s New York activist fund, last year.


Eric Lee and Jack Franke — Blockhouse Capital

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Zach Schreiber.
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REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Former PointState staffers Jack Franke, one of its founders, and Eric Lee, the firm’s former distressed-investments head, are launching Blockhouse Capital in October.

PointState launched in 2011 and is led by Zach Schreiber. It was one of the biggest launches of its day, with $1 billion in capital from legendary investor Stan Druckenmiller and $4 billion from other investors.