Top Trader under 30


Experienced member
1,109 43
Top trader under 30 - Ref: Trader Monthly September 2008

Julien Balkany

Age: 27
Firm: Nanes Delorme Partners
City: New York
Trades: Equity (activist)

In a year that has closed many hedge funds down, Balkany launched one, successfully. He opened in January with around $30 million; the fund was up 40 percent through the end of June.

Positioned as an activist investor, Nanes Delorme targets publicly traded, small-cap oil-and-gas firms viewed as undervalued and in need of a growth catalyst. "We don't fight for the sake of fighting," Balkany explains of his firm's approach. "Fighting is not always the best way to create alpha. Compromise is."

Balkany, a native of Paris, says he's inspired by Warren Lichtenstein ("he's never lost a proxy fight") and developed his investing style while working at Pierson Capital, a private-equity shop. Balkany completed his undergraduate studies at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and has a master's in finance from Berkeley. He worked at Bear Stearns in Latin American Debt Capital Markets in New York prior to Pierson Capital. He's the managing partner and CIO and owns 50 percent of the management company. These days, he's also a managing director at Nanes Delorme Capital Management, a New York–based broker-dealer/financial-advisory firm.

"This is a good market for us," he says -- the oil-and-gas sector is wide-open right now, he notes, and underperforming companies litter the space.

Despite his desire for peaceful prodding, Balkany has locked horns with his biggest *holding, Vaalco Energy, which sued him to preempt a proxy battle. The case has since been settled, and Nanes Delorme has reduced its stake in the firm. The stock is up 40 percent this year.

Alexander Baring

Age: 29
Firm: TCI
City: London
Trades: European equities

One of the youngest partners (out of more than a dozen) in activist/philanthropist Christopher Hohn's $15 billion–plus hedge fund, Baring is already something of a storied name in the securities industry, thanks to his lineage -- he's a direct descendant of famed eighteenth-century merchant banker Francis Baring and his eponymous banking empire.

One might assume he has simply feasted on the benefits of his fortuitous ancestry, but Baring, we understand, has worked hard, putting himself through all necessary paces to reach the top of the hedgerow. After graduating from Bristol University in southwest England with a master's degree in *physics and philosophy -- studying metaphysics, normativ*ity, epistemology and the usual mind-*numbing crush of core physics -- he worked at JPMorgan Cazenove as a pan-European sell-side analyst from 2001–2006. Baring declined to comment for this article; a TCI spokesman confirmed that he is a partner at the firm, though he refused to reveal the size of his stake.

Gabe Bassin

Age: 28
Firm: Balyasny Asset Management
City: New York
Trades: Equities

A Minneapolis native who waited tables in Hell's Kitchen (and interned at MD Sass) before landing at BAM in September 2004, Bassin has quickly forged a reputation as a steely industrials trader. Bassin, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2002 with a degree in finance, is a true two-tool player, technically astute at reading the markets but also a budding analyst who can ferret out fundamentals crucial to decision-making. Says one peer who nominated him: "Gabe is a rising star."

David Bender

Age: 28
Firm: First New York Securities
City: New York
Trades: Equities

David Bender is not your typical 28-year-old. At an age when many of his contemporaries are fortunate to find any job at all on Wall Street, he has already made partner at First New York Securities. And he's no junior partner, either. Bender is one of the best traders at his firm, which counts a handful of former SAC standouts among its ranks.

Bender, who grew up in Great Neck, New York, spends his days stalking event-driven U.S. equity opportunities, eating what he kills, particularly during earnings season. In 2007, Bender's P&L flirted with eight figures, of which the Emory University graduate -- he was a triple major -- took home half. Call him exceptional (he's said to be a scratch golfer), call him confident (he actually acknowledges that he is, indeed, a scratch golfer), but don't dare call him a day trader. The term implies a certain unwashed recklessness, and that's not his way.

"My style has proven consistent," he says. "Last year I had 240 trading days. I think I lost money on five of them."

Hordes of equity traders such as Bender -- young, self-assured, flush with employer-sponsored capital, free to chase daily stock gyrations aggressively -- once roamed the financial landscape, until the bursting of the tech bubble at the turn of the century treated day traders the way asteroids treated the dinosaurs. Those who survived (the traders, not the dinosaurs) have reinvented the space, a maturation that has brought more focus and technical savvy, more disciplined risk control and the trading of more instruments and markets beyond tech stocks -- though don't think some of the new breed haven't made money long GOOG and short MSFT.

Robert Bryan

Age: 25
Firm: Magnetar Capital Management
City: New York
Trades: Equities (distressed/special situations)

Working in the New York office of Alec Litowitz's Chicago-based firm, Bryan is swiftly moving up the industry ranks. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvaia in 2004, he got his start trading at Goldman Sachs, then joined Cyrus Capital Partners, a derivative of Och-Ziff. Upon establishing himself as a top young trader in the distressed/special-situations space in U.S. equities, he landed at $8 billion–in-assets Magnetar this January. "He is extremely bright and responsible with his capital," says someone familiar with Bryan's trading. "I've always known him to make intelligent investment decisions."

John Chiang

Age: 28
Firm: Citigroup
City: New York
Trades: Equity index derivatives

Just two months into a Citigroup training program following his graduation from Penn in 2001, Chiang endured the unthinkable: His father, Alex, was working in IT at insurance broker Marsh & McLennan in the north tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11. From just blocks away, Chiang did his best to stay calm while fielding calls from his distraught mother in California. He charged down Chambers Street, but was forced to turn back when the first tower fell. He would eventually learn that his dad was among the many lost. "Only recently have I come to grips with the whole thing," Chiang says. "It really has shaped who I am, how I approach life. It was a grounding moment" -- because these days, he has the perspective not to get rattled or upset by everyday ups and downs.

Chiang took two months off to mourn but then returned to Citi, transitioning in 2003 to equity index options and eventually becoming a VP. Trading $1 billion–plus, notional, of principal, Chiang makes markets and takes prop *positions in all the major indices. "Huge size," an industry peer confirms.

Mona El Isa

Age: 25
Firm: Goldman Sachs
City: London
Trades: Cash *equities (prop)

A chorus of voices from all across the globe clamored for El Isa's inclusion ("She is the best at what she does, hands down," one admirer gushed), and while Goldman Sachs gatekeepers kept their curiously named prized prop star under wraps, we were able to tap a few City sources who helped us fill out a portrait. Having started her career in September 2004 as a trainee in London, she now trades prop on Goldman's Pan-European cash desk, as well as client money. More recently, she secured her current position, which we hear involves some impressive size.

El Isa is smiling coyly in one of the world's hottest sectors right now, making markets for natural resources–linked equities and taking no prisoners. Born in the U.K. and raised in Greece, she didn't even wait until she had graduated from University College London (with a degree in economics and statistics) before embarking on what would soon become a stellar trading career. In the summer of 2003, a year before she graduated, she landed an internship at Goldman with an eye toward getting an education as a market maven. From there, she swiftly moved into pole position, clinching a job at the bank in August 2004, trading financials. In 2005, she won a coveted post in the mining sector, developing the risk-management skills that would later prompt her admirers to brand her a star. Impressing *clients and superiors alike, she nailed a promotion in 2007 as an associate, making markets on Goldman's London-based cash equities desk. Sums up one ad*mirer: "You can't have a 30 Under 30 list without her."

Drew Forman

Age: 26
Firm: JPMorgan
City: New York
Trades: Equity *derivatives/technology

Touted by some Wall Street insiders as being among the top traders at his firm, this Yale graduate (class of 2004, a physics major) entered the JPMorgan equity-analyst program right out of school before migrating into the Equity Derivatives Group with a focus on such big technology names as MSFT and GOOG. "He's trading hundreds of millions," says one source at JPMorgan. "Very disciplined, but a real old-school, from-the-gut trader."

Forman, who grew up in Westchester County, New York, reports to David Long, an MD and head of the Equity Derivatives Group. Whether the rise in popularity of his asset class continues remains to be seen, of course, but Forman is going about making a name for himself (and his firm) by making markets in this vast, often volatile sector. Says one industry participant: "Drew is trading the biggest book on the EDG desk."

Heath Freeman

Age: 28
Firm: Alden Global Capital
City: New York
Trades: International *equities, bonds

Like many of his industry peers, Freeman boasts a proud pedigree. The son of Carl Icahn's go-to investment banker, the late Brian Freeman, this former Duke University football player (he was captain of its special teams) appears to be well on his way to cementing his own securities-industry legacy.

After graduating from college, Freeman took a job as an analyst at boutique banking firm Peter J. Solomon. Now backed by famous investor Randy Smith, the Short Hills, New Jersey, native is currently the portfolio manager of the $100 million–plus Alden Global Canada Fund, part of Alden Global Capital, a subsidiary of Smith's *family office, Smith Management. Freeman doubles as an analyst for Alden's Frontier Fund, which invests in fast-growing emerging markets such as Vietnam and Indonesia. Says someone who regularly transacts with him, "To be *mentored and seeded by Randy Smith speaks to his ability. He is one of the most talented young guys I've seen in a while."

Glenn Graham

Age: 23
Firm: Casa Energy
Cities: Chicago/Dubai
Trades: Crude oil, natural gas

Something of a prodigy and seemingly *destined for a life in the markets, Graham spent his childhood relocating from place to place on account of his father's job as a manufacturing consultant. Having skipped the sixth grade, Graham (born in Color*ado, he has lived in Texas, Australia and New Zealand) studied economics and finance at the University of Illinois. After three years in school, he began trading oil and gas at Chicago-based Allston Trading. Before long, at just 22 years old, he was running the firm's entire energy-trading operation.

"His trading prowess is unprecedented for someone his age," says one crude-oil broker. "He's a brilliant trader and a tremendous risk taker, but at the same time he knows how to calculate risk well."

Graham's precocious skills soon caught the eye of Frank Carbon*ara, owner of Dubai-based Casa Trading. Despite Graham's youth, Carbonara recently hired him to be Casa's director of energy trading.

Graham's best trade yet? "I bought the gas crack spread back in February and March when it was closing in on being negative," he says. "From there, it soared."

Says Robert Barry, the boy wonder's former boss at Allston, "We are sad to see him go."

We're glad to see him come aboard.

Adam Grunfeld

Age: 27
Firm: Tudor Investment Corp.
City: Greenwich, Connecticut
Trades: Global macro (currencies, metals, interest rates, futures, swaps, International Equities)

Only five years out of college, this Scarsdale, New York, native has already worked for four employers, though he has always carried his weight and appears to have found a happy home at Tudor. A 30 Under 30 member two years ago who fell off our radar in 2007, Grunfeld attended Stanford and started his career at Goldman. From there, he jumped to Balyasny Asset Management before leaving to help start up London-based Comac Capital in 2006. He briefly returned to Balyasny last year before moving to Tudor in February. Like his boss, he trades everything across the board. Says one sales trader who covers him, "Great trader, very smart -- a baller."


Experienced member
1,109 43

Adam Guren

Age: 26
Firm: First New York Securities
City: New York
Trades: International equities, futures, options, swaps
For every regimentally focused daytime equity trader like Bender and Thoreau, there are those who simply do not sleep very often, such as First New York's Adam Guren, who keeps track of his international equities and futures positions around the clock, even trading in his sleep.

"Sometimes I'll leave orders with brokers overseas and get woken up at 3 a.m. to see if something got filled," says the 26-year-old former Duke soccer star, who is the youngest partner in First New York's history. The Cleveland native joined the firm in 2004 after playing one season of professional indoor soccer, and in the last two years was up 68 percent (2007) and 55 percent (2006) on his allotted capital. According to Motschwiller, his P&L last year was in the "mid-seven figures."

William Hillegass

Age: 25
Firm: Lehman Brothers
City: New York
Trades: Equity options

"He is the man."


"Best equity derivatives trader on the Street."

Those are just a few of the *comments we received on the topic of "Billy" Hillegass, who is known around the Street as a single-stock options Zen master. Hillegass graduated from MIT in 2003 at the age of 20.

Matt Hooker

Age: 29
Firm: Citadel Investment Group
City: Chicago
Trades: Equities

Hooker is turning the tech equities space upside-down. After graduating from Notre Dame in 2001, having completed its rigorous Applied Investment Management course, he left South Bend for New York, spending more than three years on the *equities desk at Goldman Sachs. In 2004, he headed to Ken Griffin's Citadel, trading tech names in its Global Equities strategy. He is also a chartered financial analyst. "An absolute superstar over there," says someone familiar with his trading.

Chris Hsu

Age: 27
Firm: Abax Global Capital
City: Hong Kong
Trades: Special situations (debt, equity)

After graduating early from Stanford with a degree in engineering, this Taiwan native got a job at Aristeia Capital in New York, followed by gigs at JMB Capital in Los Angeles and Chicago-based Citadel. Working out of Citadel's Hong Kong office, Hsu led the firm's Asian special-situations group. Now one year into his $300 million launch, Abax Global Capital, Hsu is invading China with the zeal of a thirteenth-century Mongol. Employing a variety of instruments and techniques, Abax has taken positions in China Mobile Media Technology, Harbin Electric, Sinoenergy and China Natural Gas.

Sameer Kero

Age: 27
Firm: Credit Suisse
City: New York
Trades: Stocks, convertible bonds, equity options, variance swaps and credit *derivatives

Working for the past six years in Credit Suisse's equities division as a proprietary trader, Kero is a man who does it all. He got his start on the firm's convertibles desk in 2003 and quickly embraced the challenges of trading across the equity, fixed-income and volatility markets. "During volatile markets such as what we've been seeing, I tend to turn my positions over fairly frequently," he says. "Opportunities come in times of stress."

Working now in a strategy called capital-structure arb -- which combines elements of convertible arb, volatility arb and correlation trading -- Kero covers the widest possible spectrum, trading everything from blue-chip stocks and convertible bonds to options, *variance swaps and much, much more. "I've tried to go beyond being a so-called jack of all trades to really striving to understand the entire market," he adds.

A native of Spring Hill, Florida, Kero attended Carnegie Mellon, graduating at age 20 with a master's in information systems. He stumbled into finance only after the tech bubble burst. Known to play a wicked game of tennis, Kero is an ace in our book.

John Knorring

Age: 27
Firm: Goldman Sachs
City: New York
Trades: Natural gas (swaps, options)

A Wheaton, Illinois, native and wrestling captain at Princeton (from which he graduated in 2003 with a degree in operations research and financial engineering), Knorring spends much of his day grappling with wildly volatile energy markets. He takes action on NYMEX-linked contracts, and makes markets on OTC swaps and options. Working under Greg Agran, Goldman's partner in charge of gas and power, Knorring is constantly assessing risk -- and profiting accordingly, always playing many angles.

"He's part market maker, part hedger, part prop trader, all in one," says someone familiar with this former CBOT intern's trading style. "He could be making money on vols one day, then on deltas the next. He knows where the risks are all the time."

Competing in a space for which most traders cut their teeth in the rough-and-tumble pits, Knorring, who has worked at Goldman since graduating from college, has taken advantage of his quant background, which offers an edge as volume increasingly transitions from floor to screen. In natural gas, an asset class that has produced some of the most fabulous blowups in trading history, he's taking down his rivals one contract, one trade and one day at a time.

Says a former Goldman colleague: "His major skill is in making markets for Goldman on the OTC markets. He is an expert at developing relationships with counterparties and then leveraging those relationships to hedge risk for the proprietary book."

Andy Liebeskind

Age: 25
Firm: Two Sigma Investments
City: New York
Trades: Equities

At some hedge funds, traders are required to execute precisely what their proprietary signals and price points demand, without much (if any) discretion. This is hardly the case with Liebeskind, of renowned $5 billion–plus quant fund Two Sigma. The 2005 Duke graduate has been a wunderkind at the firm ever since he left Goldman Sachs in 2006. "He has full discretion to go with their signal, or simply decide it's no good," says one source. "For someone his age to have that kind of veto power over trades is unheard of." We are told Two Sigma is having a stellar year, in no small part due to Liebeskind's prowess, and is also increasing its head count. This is his second year on the 30 Under 30, with several more appearances possibly to come.

Age: 25
Firm: Citigroup
City: New York
Trades: Currency, rates and commodities

Growing up in Hong Kong, Lo heard about the world of bank prop trading from a family friend. Those seeds planted, he made his way to Manhattan, attending New York University as an economics major. After his junior year, he applied for an internship at every major bank on Wall Street. "They all turned me down," he recalls. "Except one."

Lo got that shot at Deutsche Bank, interning on the firm's forex desk. Within a month (he spent his first four weeks e-mailing his boss, Maura Craven, three times a day with trading ideas), a million-dollar limit was his to exploit. In the next two months, he generated profits totaling several hundred thousand dollars for the firm.

"That experience sealed it," he says. "I knew prop trading was for me."

In the spring of 2005, still a few credits shy of graduating, Lo snagged a pure prop-trading job at Citi on the firm's Global FX desk -- that family friend from years ago, Wayne Chang, worked at Citi, and helped open the door. Lo made the most of it. Mentored by Street *veteran Jeff Feig, Lo now runs positions totaling, notionally, hundreds of millions, trading everything from spot dollar/yen to Eurodollar options. "My trading style can't be put in a box," he says. "You can't trade currencies these days without looking at equities, commodities, rates, everything -- it's all intertwined.

"My boss likes to say that if you're comfortable, you probably don't have enough risk on," he adds. "We push it."

Stephan Marks

Age: 23
Firm: Independent
City: London
Trades: Commodities, currency, fixed-income

Starting out at age 21 with a few thousand dollars and a spread-betting account, Marks soon discovered he had a knack for trading currencies, reaping returns of as much as 300 percent. After seven months, the native South African was hooked, forgoing college to sign up for a training program with London arcade Saxon Financial, where he learned the trading ropes. Once he completed the program, Marks struck out on his own, cold-calling and e-mailing roughly 30 trading firms to provide him with capital. Today, he has a fund of nearly $1 million financed, in part, by London prop shop Pyne Trading. He has also caught the attention of others keen on seeding him.

"Right now, we're watching him to see how he does," says Adam Musikant, cofounder and director of Hamilton Court Capital, an Islington-based prop firm that has also given Marks money. "This is a hard business to break into, and he's obviously young -- but he's got vision, he's prepared to persevere and he's got charisma that stands out from the pack."

Marks says his trading regimen consists of 60 percent fundamental analysis combined with a proprietary system that he built from scratch with the assistance of former colleagues and advisers. "When I get into a trade, I do the research. But the system helps me determine where to enter and manage the trade, giving me a *continuous risk profile and managing the exposure and profit," he says. "By no means do I think that what I do is better than anyone else. Maybe the only difference is, possibly, my risk management. I put that before everything -- even profits."

When he's not busy trading, Marks -- who grew up in Pretoria before moving to England's West Yorkshire at 16 -- enjoys snowboarding the Swiss Alps.

Jason Pickard

Age: 27
Firm: Tudor Investment Corp.
City: Greenwich, Connecticut
Trades: Weather derivatives, energy, agricultural commodities

Energy and commodities have been the hottest trading sectors of the past few years, but one of the most unpredictable, uncontrollable forces behind some of the wildest swings has been the weather. From what we gather, no one trades it better than Pickard.

The son of a retired hedge-fund executive (Mark Pickard, formerly of Tudor and a cofounder of Two Sigma), the University of Virginia grad pitched fellow alum Paul Tudor Jones last year on the idea of backing a proprietary weather desk, a space in which few hedge funds are involved and which, until recently, was dominated by commercial players. Seeing the potential, Tudor invited his former colleague's kid onboard. Blue skies have since prevailed, and the wind remains at Pickard's back.

Before joining forces with the legendary hedge-fund manager, Pickard, a Randolph, New Jersey, native, began his career at XL Weather and Energy, backed by former Enron traders, then spent three years at Constellation Energy's Commodities Group, eventually getting promoted to director and running its weather-trading operation.

He doesn't shy away from weather-futures volume, which has increased roughly 200-fold on the CME since 2002. "He's one of the most dominant traders in the space," says one dialed-in broker. "This is a niche space where one person can easily gain the upper hand by understanding how things are priced, and his knowledge is superior. He is also consistently correct."


Experienced member
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Dhruv Piplani

Age: 27
Firm: Goldman Sachs
City: Hong Kong
Trades: Equity derivatives and prop

While some people his age have yet to move out of their *parents' basement, Piplani is busy running Goldman Sachs's equity-index business in Asia. A product of Texas A&M (he graduated in 2001 with a degree in chemical engineering), Piplani spent most of his career at UBS in Stamford, Connecticut. By age 26, he was an executive director there; he stayed in that position until the end of last year. He even played on the UBS cricket team. A sturdy batsman in the Asian sector, Piplani is one of two members of this year's 30 Under 30 (along with Chris Hsu) who are currently trading in Asia.

Jennifer Pomerantz

Age: 28
Firm: Highbridge Capital Management
City: New York
Trades: Equity *(energy sector)

It's a 30 Under 30 four-peat for this hard-charging energy trader, who has been racking up frequent-flyer miles exploring sizzling opportunities in the Southern Hemisphere of late. She cut her teeth at Thomas Sandell's event-driven shop and has been running more than $1 billion at Highbridge since late 2006. The University of Chicago graduate has recently focused on oil-drilling assets off the coast of Brazil; her most recent big score was Portuguese company Galp Energia.

Always on the prowl for ideas and unlocking value, Pomerantz continually travels the world, seldom relenting in her pursuit of the next big idea. She's generally considered one of the best traders in the industry -- male or female, of any age.

Alex Rogers

Age: 28
Firm: Marex Financial
City: London
Trades: Eurostoxx, S&P 500 futures

Having briefly flirted with a career in wealth management after interning for a summer at London's M&G Investments, the British investment arm of Prudential, this golf enthusiast realized, upon graduation from Warwick University -- where he earned an economics degree -- that he needed to be where the action was. "When I first started out interviewing with different wealth managers, I found them almost too quiet, too measured," he says. "I've always been a lot more comfortable with the rowdier groups, where I can speak my mind."

After working on Dresdner Kleinwort's U.K. cash equities desk in London from September 2001 to April 2003, Rogers joined up with Marex (which at the time was Refco), one of the biggest and most successful prop shops in London, where he speedily made a name for himself not only as a trader to be reckoned with, but one who generated remarkably consistent returns.

Now, with leeway to trade up to $200 million a day, he says his secret is sticking, religiously, to a finely honed daily ritual. "Day in and day out, you have to stay committed to doing your pre-game and post-game analysis," he says. "That's the only way you improve and learn. I think it's often a lack of patience and discipline that causes traders to become undone, attributes with considerable aggression. I don't want to make tons of money and just retire early. This is a career I want to do for the rest of my life."

Despite his enviable earnings trajectory -- he pulled in somewhere north of seven figures last year -- Rogers doesn't consider making money through trading an accomplishment in and of itself. "If you think too much about money, you're never going to be a good trader," he says. "Instead, it's more about the challenge -- and you have to be up for that challenge every day."

McAndrew Rudisill

Age: 29
Firm: Pelagic Capital
City: New York
Trades: Equities, fixed-income, commodities

An avid fly fisherman, Rudisill has cast a wide net since being seeded by Julian Robertson. A deft long/short trader who worked under Tiger cub Tom McCauley at North Sound Capital for the past few years, Rudisill founded his firm in 2007 in the same Midtown Manhattan office as the Tiger clan. He attended Middlebury College in Vermont, graduating in 2001 with a degree in economics and beginning his career at JPMorgan. He now has full discretion over the entire book, and he's not afraid to go wherever the opportunities lead him: More than half of his capital is invested outside the United States.

David Sackler

Age: 28
Firm: Moab Partners
City: New York
Trades: Equities, debt, options

Like many on this list, Sackler started his trading career very early. After dabbling successfully in health-care stocks as a teenager growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, he was soon running money for Trader Monthly 100 perennial Richard Perry while studying economics at Princeton. The event-driven trader left Perry soon after graduation for Oscar Schaeffer's OSS Capital Management, and then ventured out on his own in April 2006. He has been delivering consistent, low-volatility returns for investors ever since.

"We run a very focused portfolio, so it's imperative I know our companies inside and out," says Sackler, who along with fellow Perry alum Mike Rothenberg runs more than $100 million. A notoriously thorough value investor, Sackler recently took a 10 percent–plus stake in fast-food operator Morgan's Foods. "I speak with management regularly," he says. "The company has tremendous upside." In a space mired in volatility and draw-downs, Moab was up 3 percent through the first half of the year. Last year, Moab returned around 8.5 percent, with only two down months.

Unlike many of its peers, meanwhile, Moab employs very little leverage. Says Rothenberg: "We choose to keep volatility low, and our investors love us for that."

Rothenberg also sings his partner's praises. "He is very diligent and research-focused," he says of Sackler. "His goal is to understand the businesses he buys better than anyone on the Street."

Kristofer Tremaine

Age: 28
Firm: Nautilus S.A.
City: Geneva, Switzerland
Trades: Energy

If it's oil-related, Tremaine is trading it -- freights, pipelines, oil, natural-gas emissions, any piece on the three-dimensional chess board that is the global energy market. A whiz kid of the first order, swinging multibillion-dollar mega-transactions every day from his outpost in idyllic Switzerland, this native Englishman runs the oil-trading arm of Nautilus, which mana*ges the sprawling hedges of huge energy-development projects in the Middle East and elsewhere. "We trade the entire barrel, taking on enormous contracts in line with the majors," he says.

Tremaine started off, like most other English prep-school grads, simply looking for a summer job to fill up his "gap year" (the period between high school and college that Britons get off). Eighteen years old and curious about trading, he took a position as a gas/oil local at London's International Petroleum Exchange (now a part of IntercontinentalExchange). Today, he's still at it. "What was supposed to be a gap year turned into a gap life," he jokes. When the trading floor began its inexorable decline, he jumped ship for the commodities-index desk at UBS in London, where he learned how to interpret macro trends from energy maven Nigel Labram, the head of Hermes Pension Fund, the largest such fund in the United Kingdom. In 2003, he nabbed a job at Hetco, the energy-trading arm of Hess, placing bets of $100 million and up and meeting another mentor -- Neil West, the head of Goldman's oil-trading desk in the 1980s and '90s.

In 2006, Tremaine left to run the crude book for the London energy-trading desk of Société Générale. Last year, he founded his own firm with two Dutch pension-funders, just acquired by Nautilus. "Our staff right now is about 20, but we don't lack for any business," he says. "In about three years, we expect to have about 300 staffers globally."

Ken Turano

Age: 27
Firm: Harbinger CapitaL Partners
City: New York
Trades: Equities, options, bonds, credit default swaps

All great trading legends have their protégés. George Soros had Stanley Druckenmiller. Julian Robertson had his Tiger Cubs. Now, Phil Falcone has Turano. For every big bet on which Falcone is able to cash in -- including a recent surge in iron-mining *concern Cleveland Cliffs, among others -- Turano is toiling on the front lines, working hard to make it happen.

A forward on Harvard's hockey team two decades after his boss skated for the Crimson, the Valley Stream, New York, native played professionally for a couple of months before joining Harbinger in 2005 as a trading assistant. After booking transactions for two and a half years, he was promoted to vice president in September 2007, and now trades every nook and cranny of the firm’s $26 billion–in-assets portfolio.

In hiring Turano, Falcone added a degree of toughness to his crew. As a college senior, Turano beat his physicians' expectations when he returned to Harvard's 2004 Eastern College Athletic Conference championship team after an early-season broken ankle. As a trader, he continues to live up to the expectations of working at one of Wall Street's best-performing funds.

Says a colleague, "Kenny's well-grounded manner and first-rate technical skill set keep him disciplined enough to create significant alpha for our funds."

Reed Werbitt

Age: 28
Firm: Catapult Capital Management
City: New York
Trades: Equities

As the head execution trader for Catapult, an affiliate company of Israel Englander's $14 billion Millennium operation, Werbitt is now overseeing the trades for $4.5 billion–in-assets Catapult. When Millennium acquired London-based Castlegrove Capital this past May, that operation was folded into Catapult. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Werbitt grew up in Ridgefield, Connecticut; he got his start in the business at, yes, Millennium.

Mark Zimring

Age: 28
Firm: Deutsche Bank
City: New York
Trades: Convertibles

A Penn product (he played football there), Zimring has an aggressive approach to trading converts. Considered undersized for the gridiron, he's got serious size now, running $400 million to $500 million, notional. He concentrates mostly on the biotech and health-care spaces, and has access to the firm's top-tier *clients. Insists his boss, David Puritz: "Mark is a household name in his sector."

Among his responsibilities at DB is heavy involvement in the firm's environmental policies. "When social responsibility begins to have an impact on the bottom line one way or the other," he says, "a nimble trader can get ahead of new trends to rack up some real gains and encourage positive change -- going green can make you green."

He trades. He helps run an endowment. He's 14.

Most kids his age pass their time playing Wii, posting on Facebook or checking out the latest hilarious cat-on-a-treadmill video on YouTube. Christopher Davis prefers studying 10K's.

Sharing the same the name as (but no relation to) a famous money manager, this 14-year-old Florham Park, New Jersey, *resident might well be on his way to running his own fund. He trades his own account, and has an advisory role helping to steer the endowment at Newark Academy in Livingston, New Jersey, where this fall he'll enter the ninth grade.

This precocious trader got started at age 11, when he bought a handful of shares of his local thrift, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, with money he had saved. Since then, he's up more than 90 percent on his personal principal, and still holds those shares of Peapack. "They have very few non-performing loans and pay a nice dividend," he says of his first investment.

In 2002, Newark received an anonymous gift of $100,000 to its endowment to be managed by students. Sam Goldfischer, the school's business manager, oversees the student-run pool, whose investments are restricted to low-cost Vanguard mutual funds. Davis helps set the asset *allocation. "Christopher is one of the more active members of our Student Endowment Committee," Goldfischer says. "He often shows up to my office to discuss *investment ideas with the Wall Street Journal in his hand."

With Davis's input, the student-run fund was up 4 percent in the first quarter of 2008, following solid returns of 13.7 *percent in 2007. In addition to helping burnish the student-run portion of the school's endowment, Davis sits in on *meetings of the school's formal investment committee (which is run by adults).

"I keep them on their toes," he says. "It's fun showing up at meetings and being introduced alongside members of the class of 1948."

Like the other Christopher Davis, the freshman follows value-investing principles -- but his true inspiration is his father. "I guess what I do has rubbed off on Christopher," says Paul Davis, who manages portfolios for high-net-worth clients at Oppenheimer and Co. in New York. "We often talk about trading ideas at the dinner table."

The younger Davis's best play to date? Buying Nokia in the teens and selling in the 40s. As for the market in general? "I think it's going to be crazy until the election," he says. "But I have a long time horizon. I'm only 14."

Taking stock of some previous young turks.

Brian Kabot, 30
Of Sun Capital in Miami, recently turned 30 -- and while he has passed our list's maximum age, his single biggest position, Alpha Natural Resources, has gone straight through the roof. The distressed coal play, through mid-July, had risen more than 600 percent since last August, when Kabot appeared on CNBC and revealed that he owned it at $16.

Keith O'Malley, 30
Another grizzled 30-year-old, continues to give Hold Brothers -- and prop trading in general -- a good name. In just the first five months of 2008, O'Malley reportedly matched his entire profits of 2007 (he was said to have made a killing the day BofA announced it was taking over Countrywide), and he is apparently on a pace to make eight *figures this year. Not surprisingly, he's considering starting his own hedge fund.

Zack Michaelson, 27
Became a controversy magnet last summer following his departure from his rates-trading gig at Fortress -- an occurrence we learned of only after we'd gone to press with Michaelson among eight traders on our cover. He soon landed at Graham Capital in Rowayton, Connecticut -- but upon further review, he no longer works there, either.

Tom Themistocles, 31
Who also graced last year's cover alongside Michaelson, Kabot and others, left RBC in early 2008, moving to First New York Securities. He has since become a partner there.

Charlie Katz, 33
Another FNYS prop standout, is still going strong there. We first met this natural-gas expert in 2005, when we compiled our inaugural 30 Under 30 list. He's now a partner and head trader for the firm's commodities desk. Says a colleague, "He's a true gladiator."

Michael Ross, 32
Also part of our inaugural list, remains the head trader at Boone Pickens's BP Capital in Dallas.

Mesh Tandon, 32
Our first 30 Under 30 cover subject, went on to form Simran Capital Management, a fixed-income-based hedge fund. Though Tandon was originally dismissed by many as a mere salesman, this past May, Simran was voted 2008 Hedge Fund of the Year at Opal Financial Group's Emerging Manager Summit.

Simon Jones, 31
A forex trader for Citi, had "jumped into Manhattan's nightlife scene with both feet," we wrote when we first met him in 2006. He now reports that "I'm still enjoying things at Citi -- although my pace of enjoying the New York nightlife scene has slowed over the last couple of years." He now runs Citi's FX cash desk and e-trading group.

Lee Frankenfield, 31
Is still ruling the derivatives world at Deutsche Bank. He is now the North American head of single-stock equity derivatives and a managing director -- and yes, he still looks like he's 15.
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