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An Indian origin woman who is first in the world to launch a Billion-Dollar Hedge Fund

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Oct 06, 2022 4:03 PM

Read Time: 2 minute

There are many such women around the world who are working towards achieving a different position today, one such example is Divya Nettimi. She launched her own hedge fund with more than $1 billion in commitments, making it the largest launch of a woman-led firm in industry history and one of the largest to debut this year.

According to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the fund's inception has not been publicly announced, Avala Global has begun investing the majority of the cash, with the remainder expected to arrive early in the first quarter. The firm's representative in New York declined to comment.

According to the people, Nettimi, a portfolio manager who oversaw more than $4 billion at Andreas Halvorsen's Viking Global Investors before leaving last year, will bet on and against stocks in the consumer, business services and technology, media and telecom sectors, as well as private companies.

Because anti-competition agreements prevent her from soliciting Viking clients until November, the funds raised thus far do not include them.

Her ability to jump-start the firm now is all the more impressive given that a sharp drop in equity markets has made fundraising more difficult, with some of the industry's most prolific tech-focused stock-pickers having their worst year on record. Alex Karnal's Braidwell, which launched in April with $3.5 billion, is this year's largest new hedge fund. SurgoCap Partners by Mala Gaonkar is another highly anticipated debut. She plans to launch her company in 2023 with at least $1 billion in capital.

Nettimi, 36, and Gaonkar, 52, will join an exclusive club of women leaders in an industry dominated by men, with their debuts coming nearly a decade after Leda Braga took the helm of Systematica Investments, then a $8.3 billion collection of quant funds spun out from Michael Platt's BlueCrest Capital Management.

Can’t withdraw money for first 2 years

Clients of Avala will face some restrictions. They won't be able to withdraw their money for the first two years, and if they do, it will take another two years to withdraw all of their money, according to the people.

Nettimi joins a growing list of Viking alumni to set out on their own in recent years. The most prominent among them is Dan Sundheim, who stepped down as chief investment officer to found D1 Capital Partners in 2018, building it into a $22 billion behemoth. In 2020, former Viking co-CIOs Ben Jacobs and Tom Purcell started Anomaly Capital Management and Alua Capital Management, respectively. Last year, former Viking portfolio manager Grant Wonders launched Voyager Global Management.

Also Read: Meet CWG medallist who became 1st Indian female boxer to join Indian Army

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