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A Guide to Starting Your Hedge Fund by John Thompson, Erik Serrano Berntsen

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Chapter 1Introduction

Beginning is half the journey.

Traditional Korean proverb

Why This Book?

When we launched our first hedge fund in 2006 we needed guidance. As a firm we had over three decades of experience in all facets of the energy industry as well as a background in management consulting and private equity. This rooted our approach in developing detailed business strategies and understanding the best practices for both young and mature businesses. What we did not have was an understanding of what it took to start and manage a hedge fund, especially a hedge fund focused on investing in energy and related commodities markets. As we looked for resources to help us fill our knowledge gap, we realized there was nothing out there.

Since those early days we have partnered with some of the best commodity traders and commodity investors to launch institutional quality asset managers. It has been a fascinating journey filled with a rollercoaster of events as varied as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the Bernard Madoff scandal, a day when we thought our investment bank clearers would go under, the end of Swiss banking secrecy, a deluge of new regulations, the exit of most banks from commodity trading, and a bunch of fantastic colleagues. We have also been blessed with great investors who we feel privileged to serve. Of course, along the way we have learned many lessons. Though some of these lessons came from success (or perhaps more accurately, serendipity), the majority ...

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