Wednesday, August 4

Meet Ryan Tolkin, the 34-year-old behind Schonfeld’s transformation from family office to hedge fund heavyweight

  • Ryan Tolkin transformed Schonfeld from a family office to an $8.8 billion hedge-fund heavyweight.
  • The 34-year-old Duke grad has been driven to lead his entire life, friends and colleagues said.
  • Insider spoke with those who know him best to understand how he got here and what comes next.

In high school, Ryan Tolkin was trading securities at a billionaire’s family office. In college, he was presenting his volatility research to a global asset manager. Now, at 34, the Long Island native is running the $8.8 billion hedge fund Schonfeld Strategic Advisors as its chief executive and chief investment officer.

How he got to his lofty perch is a combination of natural ability and extreme focus and discipline, said those who know him best. Professors described him as both intelligent and prepared, while fraternity brothers remember a driven friend who wouldn’t let anything get in the way of his ultimate goals.

Schonfeld has grown into one of the industry’s more prominent multi-managers thanks to years of solid performance, fundraising, and aggressive hiring.

Tolkin is known for being plugged-in but not overbearing — someone portfolio managers and analysts can approach without feeling intimidated.

Now, after being appointed CEO at the beginning of the year and launching a new macro division more recently, Tolkin is riding as high as ever.

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