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Hedge fund gets its start at home

Date: Monday, January 12, 2009
Author: Michael C. Juliano, Stamford Advocate.com

Two 25-year-old Harvard graduates from Greenwich are bucking the trend that has sent hundreds of hedge funds to their graves and have started their own fund, investing primarily in currencies, fixed incomes and commodities.

Brendan Petri, who grew up in Bedford, N.Y., and Manuel Aguilar, a native of Guatemala, plan next week to launch Thresher Global Management, a global macro hedge fund.

"We are highly confident that our combined analytical skills will enable us to generate stellar returns, particularly in the global macro space as current severe dislocations offer substantial opportunities for profit," said Petri, who worked for two years as an analyst for a private equity group with Palisade Capital Management LLC in Fort Lee, N.J.

For now, they will run the fund out of Petri's apartment on Soundview Court until their business outgrows the space, said Petri, who has a bachelor's degree in economics.

"Our business acumen and successful track record will speak for itself in attracting new investors," said Petri, adding that Thresher intends to offer an "unparalleled level of transparency" to investors, given the uncertainty in the market. "Making transparency an integral part of our business will help us to stand out from the crowd and earn the confidence and trust of any potential investors."

The volatility in the stock market is a "boon" to Thresher, which expects to concentrate on taking long and short positions on investments, said Aguilar, who has a master's degree in astrophysics and was an analyst for two years for a private equity group with Invercorp International LLC in Guatemala City.


"The fact that we're in a recession is something we've contemplated for a while, but it doesn't preclude us from investing in both directions," he said. "We do intend to grow as fast and as much as possible. Our strategy and the liquidity of markets in which we invest will allow us to absorb any amount of capital with diseconomies of scale."

Thresher already has capital from three family offices and about five wealthy investors, Petri said.

"We intend to offer our investors complete clarity about our investment outlook and strategies and make ourselves available 24-7 for any investor's questions or concerns," he said.

Strategies that will attract capital will be those suited to the current environment, said Joel Schwab, managing director of hedgefund.net in New York City.

"A global macro hedge fund may be able to benefit from dislocations in the present market if they're able to reverse themselves and position themselves correctly," he said.

- Staff Writer Michael C. Juliano can be reached at michael.juliano@scni.com or 964-2417.