More students launch hedge funds


Ambitious students have long sought to stand out, either to nail that plum job upon graduation or to get into the professional school of their choice.

For three 20-something college students in North Carolina, that route to the next step in their budding careers is start a hedge fund. Elliot Carol, Marcus Varsano and Ryan Mahoney formed Lumina Investments in 2011, but recently announced they were open for business. Carol (chairman and principal) and Varsano (director of investor relations) are students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington's Cameron School of Business. Mahoney, the firm's specialist in global securities and derivative structures, is a student at East Carolina University.

"The entire frame of reference for us, all in our early twenties, has been a post-financial crisis world," Varsano said. "Today, you must have sophisticated investment strategies and a willingness to embrace reasonable risk. Fast-paced change is a constant. You must account for dynamic computer programming that is a signature of the new generation. There is no returning to the 'good old days' of investing in companies based solely on their balance sheets."

They intend to manage a macro hedge fund, it would appear, as they say they will profit from "international political and economic volatility using equities, commodities, fixed-income and currency trading." The group didn't disclose any information about investors and how much assets they manage.

I doubt it is much, but you have to admire their pluck. In this vein, I also recently noted the group of students at Harvard, who launched Black Diamond Capital Investors, which might be more of a club than an actual hedge fund. They are equally ambitious in that they are seeking 30 percent annualized returns.

For more:
- here's the release

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