Hedge funders – they’re just like us. Sort of.
Pete Muller, who runs the $5 billion quant hedge fund firm PDT Partners, performed with his band on Thursday evening for a New York charity event.
There were songs about finding love, about arguments with one’s significant other, and about finding one’s path – reflective of Muller’s own experience. Years ago, he took time off Wall Street to busk on the subway and record music.
And then there was the one about what it’s like to be a divorced billionaire back on the dating scene.
Muller, a quirky math whiz who is married with two kids, told the crowd he found inspiration for the song after a run-in with a recently divorced hedge fund billionaire.
Muller said he had been in one of his favorite New York sushi restaurants when in walked a billionaire by the name of Ken. Muller won’t say who the “Ken” is, but we can offer a guess: Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, the founder of Citadel, recently went through a high-profile divorce.
Muller joked that he asked Ken how the new dating life was going, to which Ken responded: “I want their body, they like my money.” And so it works out.
(Ken Griffin’s spokesman says this conversation never happened. “Peter is a musician, song writer, he loves humor and he enjoys the luxury of creative license,” Griffin’s spokesman, Jim Wilkinson, wrote in an emailed statement. “But for the record, Ken Griffin never said this.”)
Muller and one of his female singers then broke out into an upbeat duet.
“You want my body / she likes my money … maybe we can find love,” the two sang. “I know you’ve been looking for some real satisfaction / It could be a mutually beneficial transaction / Why don’t we solidify our animal attraction? / Come on baby, let’s do this trade.”
After the song, Muller joked that as he looked into the crowd, people had two reactions, “those who were amused, and those who were slightly horrified,” drawing laughs.
The crowd included hedge funders, his media rep Jonathan Gasthalter, and Muller’s family, including his younger sister.
Muller told attendees he would match all donations made at the event, set to benefit charity: water, a group that provides clean water in the developing world.
“Help me live longer!” Muller told the crowd, citing research that shows generosity increases life span.
As of Friday morning, the event had raised $41,000, with additional donations continuing to come in, Muller said.
Muller also told the crowd about the importance of following one’s passion, citing his own experience in a competitive quant investing career. He said the two passions “are not necessarily competing – they help your energy get up.”
“I love playing music,” he said, “and I love running a hedge fund.”
This article has been updated to add a comment from Ken Griffin’s spokesman.