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The Alpha Masters: Unlocking the Genius of the World's Top Hedge Funds



"The Alpha Masters is a must-read for those who want to grasp the interaction of hedge fund investment strategies and overall market performance. Maneet Ahuja brings her unique perspective from her perch as a major player in daily market reporting."
—Alan Greenspan, Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman

"This is one of the very few books I know of that crawls inside the minds of today's most brilliant investors to get the play-by-play of their best (and sometimes worst) investments. You feel as though you are sitting across from the likes of John Paulson and David Tepper as they share their most sought-after techniques and analysis. This book will pay for itself and then some for those who are smart enough to pick it up."
—Nouriel Roubini, cofounder and Chairman, Roubini Global Economics; Professor of Economics, NYU Stern School of Business

"Maneet Ahuja knows well the stars of the hedge fund universe. She has written a very interesting book that provides insights into the industry, its rapid evolution, and its adaptability to a constantly shifting investment landscape. But, most of all, she introduces us to its fascinating leaders, in depth. From their backgrounds, values, and modes of thought, she gives us insight into what it takes to be successful in this most demanding profession."
—Michael Spence, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics, former dean of Stanford Business School

"Hedge funds carry a range of connotations for investors, both good and bad. Maneet's demystification of this increasingly important sector of the financial world provides a valuable service for investors as they look for alternatives to the financial institutions—and investing tenets—that failed them during the financial crisis."
—Sallie Krawcheck, former CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust

"No one has the type of access to this elite class of hedge fund managers that Maneet Ahuja does. The Alpha Masters provides the type of in-depth insight and advice that only comes from countless conversations and time spent one-on-one with these managers. The Alpha Masters is bound to be a classic."
—Leon G. Cooperman, Chairman and CEO, Omega Advisors, Inc.

"The Alpha Masters has captured the background, the ideas, and the money-making strategy of today's cutting-edge drivers of financial thought, analysis, and action. It is a great read for those who track the capital market and the tug-of-war between creativity, ideas, and capital market stress."
—Mario J. Gabelli, Chief Investment Officer, GAMCO Investors, Inc.

"The great cultural divide in journalism has always been between access and accountability reporting. But, in the end, it's really just a division of labor; readers need both. Ahuja works the access side of the street and gets people to talk as few others can. The result is a surprisingly absorbing book about people who you can't help but be curious about."
—Dean Starkman, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and Editor of the Columbia Journalism Review's "The Audit"

Foreword: The Less Mysterious World of Hedge Funds by Mohamed A. El-Erian, CEO and Co-CIO of PIMCO ix

Preface xv

Disclaimer xxiii

Chapter 1: The Global Macro Maven: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates 1

Chapter 2: Man versus Machine: Pierre Lagrange and Tim Wong, Man Group/AHL 25

Chapter 3: The Risk Arbitrageur: John Paulson, Paulson & Co. 39

Chapter 4: Distressed Debt’s Value Seekers: Marc Lasry and Sonia Gardner, Avenue Capital Group 75

Chapter 5: The Fearless First Mover: David Tepper, Appaloosa Management 93

Chapter 6: The Activist Answer: William A. Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management 115

Chapter 7: The Poison Pen: Daniel Loeb, Third Point 155

Chapter 8: The Cynical Sleuth: James Chanos, Kynikos Associates LP 173

Chapter 9: The Derivatives Pioneer: Boaz Weinstein, Saba Capital Management 193

Afterword: Myron S. Scholes, 1997 Nobel Laureate in Economics and Co-Author of the Black-Scholes Option Pricing Model 203

Appendix 211

References 225

Acknowledgments 237

About the Author 240

Index 241