San Francisco Next Wave
Next Wave Sohn will bring the next generation of talent to the Sohn Investment Conference. Hosted just before the Sohn Investment Conference convenes, Next Wave Sohn offers attendees a chance to hear up-and-comers share their best ideas.
October 16, 2019
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
5 Embarcadero Center
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5 Embarcadero Center
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Vineer Bhansali, Ph.D.
Founder & CIO
LongTail Alpha LLC
Vineer Bhansali is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of LongTail Alpha, LLC, a firm focused on convexity and tail hedging strategies. Vineer’s 24-year investment career started at Citibank, where he founded and managed the Exotic and Hybrid Options Trading Desk. He later joined Salomon Brothers in its Fixed Income Arbitrage Group, followed by the CSFB Proprietary Trading Group. Dr. Bhansali was at PIMCO for 16 years, serving the last eight years as Partner and Head of the Quantitative Portfolios Team, which he founded in 2008. Dr. Bhansali also managed all of PIMCO’s analytics from 2000 to 2010. Among other responsibilities, he was the lead PM for the PIMCO TRENDS Managed Futures Strategy Fund, the PIMCO Tail Risk Hedging Funds, PIMCO RealRetirement and RealPath Funds, and PIMCO’s indexed ETFS. He was also co-PM of the PIMCO Global Multi-Asset Fund, PIMCO Global Relative Value Fund and PIMCO Distressed Senior Credit Opportunities Fund. He has written four books on finance: “Pricing and Managing Exotic and Hybrid Options”; “Fixed Income Finance: A Quantitative Approach”; “Bond Portfolio Investing and Risk Management”; and his most recent, “Tail Risk Hedging”, and authored over 25 refereed papers on topics as varied as option pricing, fixed income, tail hedging, asset allocation and economics in leading Journals that include the Journal of Finance, Financial Analysts’ Journal, Journal of Portfolio Management, and Journal of Risk.
Lucha Capital Management L.P.
Marcelo Desio founded Lucha Capital Management L.P in July 2016 and launched the fund in September of 2016. Marcelo has over 20 years of long/ short investing specializing in TMT and business services.
Marcelo, along with partners Bill Dauphinais and Cody Shevitz, manages a market neutral equity strategy focusing on technology and tech enabled business services. The firm currently has $200mm in AUM and is a fundamental bottoms up based manager with a factor based risk management overlay.
Prior to founding Lucha Capital, Marcelo spent almost 5 years at Crosslink Capital and ran Triatto Capital from June 2004 – April 2007. He has been both an analyst and portfolio manager since 1992. Marcelo received his MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in 1998 and BA in Economics from UCLA in 1992. He also holds a CFA designation.
Chief Investment Officer & Managing Partner
SoMA Equity Partners
Gil Simon serves as Chief Investment Officer and Managing Partner of SoMa Equity Partners, a fundamental long/short equity fund manager focused on the Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) sector. SoMa takes a concentrated, long term approach to portfolio construction and seeks to identify non-consensus long and short positions which the team believes are mispriced and misunderstood by investors. Prior to founding SoMa in May 2016, Gil followed the TMT sector for 10 years at Apex Capital, serving as a Portfolio Manager for 4 years, and also as CIO during his tenure. Gil began his investment career at MFS Investment Management, covering both the media and technology sectors. Prior to his career in investment management, Gil earned his CPA designation and worked in accounting and consulting at KPMG/Bearing Point. He earned his MBA from MIT Sloan in 2003 and received his BA in Economics from UCLA in 1996. Gil lives south of San Francisco in Hillsborough with his wife Danielle and their four children.
Founder & Portfolio Manager
Black-And-White Capital LP
Seth Wunder founded black-and-white Capital LP in 2016 and is the sole portfolio manager. Before black-and-white Capital, Seth was a founding partner and portfolio manager at Contour Asset Management LLC, which managed the Manticore Fund. During the almost seven years of operating Contour, assets grew from roughly $500mn in AUM to over $1.5Bn in assets, in part due to returns. Contour was started in 2009 in partnership with both David Meyer and Brummer & Partners. Before the creation of Contour, Seth was part of the investment team within Brummer & Partners. Prior to joining Brummer & Partners, Mr.Wunder was one of the founding members of Tracer Capital Management LLC (“Tracer”), a hedge fund dedicated to investing in global equities within the TMT sector. Mr. Wunder’s main responsibilities included overseeing all investments within various subsectors of TMT including software, IT services, enterprise hardware and for-profit education. Prior to Tracer, Mr. Wunder spent several years as an analyst at both Oppenheimer Funds and Morgan Stanley Investment Management group, covering the broader enterprise technology landscape and some aspects of financial services. Mr. Wunder holds a B.S. in Applied Economics and Business Management from Cornell University.
Chief Investment Officer and Founder
Drescher Capital, L.P.
Joel Drescher founded Drescher Capital, L.P. in 2015. Prior to launch, Mr. Drescher was Co-Director of Equity and Portfolio Manager at Symphony Asset Management, LLC, an $18 billion diversified asset management firm and subsidiary of Nuveen Investments, LLC. From 2012-2015, Mr. Drescher managed a team of 10 investment professionals and was responsible for investing nearly $1 billion in equity products (NQLIX, NOPRX, NCCIX, NCGAX, NSIAX, NSSIX). From 2007-2012, Mr. Drescher was Analyst and Portfolio Manager at Ascend Capital, LLC, a $3 billion equity long/short hedge fund. While at Ascend, Mr. Drescher invested up to $500 million of the Firm’s consumer discretionary and information technology sector allocations. From 2005-2007, he served as Associate at XL Capital Investment Partners, LLC, and later as Senior Analyst at Odyssey Value Advisors, LLC. From 1999-2001, he served as an investment banking analyst at ING Barings, LLC. Mr. Drescher received his MBA and JD degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005. He received his Bachelor of Arts, awarded with Honors, at Stanford University in 1997. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Stanford Rugby Foundation.
President and Co-Founder
George Fox is the Co-founder of Titan Advisors, a $5.5 billion hedge fund solutions firm founded in 2001. Mr. Fox has been investing in hedge funds for over 25 years and leads Titan Advisors as its President. He is responsible for Titan’s business development efforts and actively engages in the firm’s research and portfolio management process as a member of the Investment Committee. Mr. Fox entered the New York financial markets in 1984 as a floor trader at the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange and the Commodity Exchange Inc., where he traded for his own account for seven years. In 1992 he created G. Fox & Co., a hedge fund advisory firm and the predecessor to Titan Advisors. After nine years providing hedge fund advisory services, Mr. Fox launched a discretionary asset management operation and renamed the business Titan Advisors, LLC. He graduated with a B.A. degree from Tulane University in 1981 and earned a law degree from the University of Richmond (VA) in 1984.
Neal P. Kaufman
Founder and Managing Member
Hillair Capital Management, LLC
Neal is a founding member of Hillair Capital Management LLC. He has over fifteen years of operating experience with large and small publicly traded companies and also has significant experience supporting financing activities.
Neal opened the West Coast operations for Ardour Capital Investments, LLC, an investment bank wholly focused on the clean technology sector. Ardour Capital’s clients included public and private companies involved in electric transportation, power electronics, solar, biomass and water purification. Previously, Neal was the Chief Executive Officer of TieTek LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of North American Technologies Group, Inc., which is a publicly traded company focused on using recycled composite materials to replace existing chemically treated wood products.
Prior to his association with TieTek, Neal held various senior management positions at 3Com Corporation, including as Vice President of Product Management. Neal also worked for the Internet arm of NBC Television, opening and running international offices. He began his career at McKinsey & Co., working in the U.S., Europe and South America.
Neal has an AB in economics magna cum laude from Harvard College, a MA from Stanford University and a MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar.
Chief Investment Officer and Founder
Omni Event Fund
John has been with Omni Partners since it was founded in 2004, and has worked with Omni’s founder Steve Clark for over 14 years. John has spent his entire career investing in and structuring trades around global corporate actions. Previously, John was Co-Portfolio Manager of the Omni Global Fund, which won a Lipper Award for the three-year period 2007-2009, and had peak AUM of nearly $700 million. John was also recently awarded the Hedge Fund Journal award for the Omni Event Fund – Global Best Performing Fund in 2015, HFM European Hedge Fund Performance Awards – New Comer, Equity and the Investor Choice awards – Event Driven Fund of 2015.
John has a BSc in Accounting and Financial Analysis/Computing Science (double honours) from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
John W. Rende
Founder and Portfolio Manager
Copernicus Capital Management, LLC
John W. Rende is the Founder of Copernicus Capital Management, LLC an SEC registered investment advisor headquartered in San Francisco. The firm manages a healthcare strategy with a focus on fundamental and technical research across the spectrum of healthcare life sciences and services companies, with an overlay of tactical option trading. Copernicus was established in 2013 and has a seasoned team of investment and operations professionals.
Mr. Rende was the Senior Portfolio Manager for the long-short healthcare portfolio at Weintraub Capital Management, LP where he produced positive returns in twelve of thirteen years as portfolio manager, including the more challenging years of 2008 and 2002. Mr. Rende served six years as a board member of the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation and currently serves on the boards of the Price Center at UCLA and the First Tee of San Francisco, where he chaired the investment committee.
Mr. Rende received an MBA in finance from the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA and a joint degree, magna cum laude, in Biology and Economics from Claremont McKenna College. While at Claremont, Mr. Rende was a three time All-American and Scholar-Athlete in tennis.