On April 13, 2005, not long after my 30th birthday, the following e-mail was sent out all over Wall Street:
To: Our Friends
From: Jon Dawson
We would like to announce formally that during the first quarter, we launched the Southport Consumer Discovery Fund—a long/short equity fund concentrating on global consumer companies. The Fund is managed by Keith McCullough. Keith joined our firm nearly five years ago. Through a combination of hard work (a grueling travel schedule), a solid sense of macroeconomics, a keen sense of judgment, and a commonsense approach to investing, Keith has made a meaningful contribution to all our firm’s products. He has proven a leader of our consumer team. Keith also serves on our firm’s board of directors. He has managed a carve-out of Millennium for over three years with impressive success as well as a carve-out in Millennium Microcap since its inception in January 2004. In the difficult first quarter of 2005, Consumer Discovery had modestly positive results. If you have any interest in the new Fund, please contact Noreen in our Connecticut office.
Now I can’t say Noreen was deluged by inquiries. But for a well-respected, trail-blazing hedge fund manager such as Jon Dawson to sing my praises in print, to people in every corner of the money management, banking, and securities trading industries, that was profoundly legitimizing, and meant the world to me. It was like being made, not that I saw myself as part of the hedge ...

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