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Hedge Fund Debuts In Biggest Launch Led By Indian-American Woman 1
This is the largest debut of a woman-led hedge fund in the industry’s history.(Representational)Mala Gaonkar’s SurgoCap Partners started trading Tuesday with $1.8 billion under management, the largest debut of a woman-led hedge fund in the industry’s history.SurgoCap will use data science to invest around the theme of how technology can enhance other sectors such as financials, industrials, health care and enterprise data, according to people familiar with the matter. The firm, with about 20 employees, will bet on and against stocks and can invest as much as a quarter of its assets in private companies, the people said.A representative for New York-based SurgoCap declined to comment.The launch follows the October debut of Divya Nettimi’s Avala Global, which started with more than $1 billion in committed cash. The two women attracted significant capital after establishing themselves at larger firms. Mala Gaonkar, 53, spent 23 years at Lone Pine Capital, and Divya Nettimi worked seven at Viking Global Investors.At an investor conference in June, Mala Gaonkar said she was bullish on ServiceNow Inc., an enterprise-software company that helps automate workflow.Mala Gaonkar was born in the US and raised mostly in Bengaluru, India, where many of her relatives were doctors. She earned an economics degree and MBA from Harvard before joining Lone Pine as a founding partner in 1998. Three years later, she was named portfolio manager overseeing wagers on tech, media, internet and telecom. She also co-headed the firm’s long-only funds.In 2019, when Steve Mandel decided to step back from day-to-day management, he picked Mala Gaonkar as one of three portfolio managers who would oversee Lone Pine’s assets, which totaled $16.7 billion as of August. She left in early 2022 to start SurgoCap.Mala Gaonkar’s focus on technology extends to philanthropy. In 2015, she co-founded the Surgo Foundation to focus on using artificial intelligence and behavioral science to solve global health problems. Five years later she co-founded the nonprofit Surgo Ventures to further that cause by developing strategic partnerships with other groups.At SurgoCap, she’s saving $100 million of capacity for smaller endowments, foundations and nonprofits that help underserved communities or address climate change, the people said. Those investors will pay lower fees. So far she’s gathered $35 million.Mala Gaonkar signed the Giving Pledge to commit the majority of her wealth to philanthropy.Featured Video Of The DayRBI Hikes Rates By A More Modest 0.35% To 6.25%, Cites Slowing Inflation

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