Hedge Fund Launch

Jon Gattman, who I’m privileged to say is a cool friend, is in the process of launching Cloverdale Capital, a Dallas-based, value focused long/short equity hedge fund. He has capital committed, and the fund is set to launch in October of this year. Everything is lined up with one exception: junior talent.

Recently Jon mentioned that outside of intelligence what he is looking for in a new hire is passion.  His comment reminded me of an interview I read previously featuring Tiger Tyagarajan, chief executive of Genpact. I thought the following excerpt from Tyagarajan’s interview was worth sharing in this context:

How do you hire? What qualities are you looking for?

The single biggest quality I look for is the ability and desire to learn. Are you a really curious person? If you are, then you learn. If you’re not, then you won’t learn. And curiosity opens up so many other windows. You’re more inclusive. You question more, and you listen. In today’s world, if you’re not curious, you’re dead, because every day is so different from yesterday. In an interview, I want to know whether you exhibit all the qualities to learn, and are you willing to spend the blood, sweat and tears to learn? How important is that for you? Show me some examples of that.

One thing that often comes with curiosity is sheer passion, and that can neutralize many other shortcomings. You may make a lot of mistakes. You may end up going down the wrong paths. You may have to make decisions that are based on not enough information. How are you going to convince people to follow you? If you don’t have passion, you’re not going to be convinced yourself, and if you don’t wear that on your sleeve, how are other people going to be charged up to go in that direction?

They actually depend on what you’re telling them, because they may not also have all the answers. And hard work and persistence have to start with passion, because if you don’t love what you do, it’s not going to work.

The full interview, which is part of a feature titled “Corner Office” in The New York Times, can be found HERE. If you are interested in the feature I would suggest perusing the ARCHIVES as well. One of my favorites profiles Daniel Lubetzky, the chief executive of Kind Snacks (omnipresent nut bars in transparent packaging). Lubetzky’s interview is particularly entertaining because he was formerly a magician, and he explains why magicians make great CEOs – LINK.

Also, the original purpose of this post was to help Jon engage potential candidates. If you believe you might be interested in pursuing an analyst position please apply HERE.