Fahmi Quadir, a 26-year-old who trained under well-known short seller Marc Cohodes, is setting out to raise $US200 million for her own recently-formed hedge fund, Safkhet Capital.
In an interview with Bloomberg’s Simone Foxman, Quadir said she has “seen the tail end of a bull market,” and isn’t phased. She plans to watch for frauds or accounting vulnerabilities that could make a stock tank more than 60%, and bet against it.
Short sellers have had few opportunities for success in the markets recently. Day after day, indices continue to reach record highs, but many fund managers say the good times must eventually come to an end. That’s where Quadir hopes to cash in.
Her rise is remarkable not just because of her age — it is uncommon to start a fund in one’s mid-twenties — but also her gender. Men still fill the vast majority of investment positions across Wall Street. Industrywide, only 3% of senior investment roles in hedge funds were held by women in 2012, according to a 2014 article in the trade publication CIO.
After graduating from Harvey Mudd College in 2012, Quadir worked as an equity analyst at Krensavage Asset Management in New York for two years, where she pushed the fund to increase its bet against Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
Valeant would famously go on to lose 90% of it’s market value in two years. This plunge caused Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Management to lose $US2.8 billion, but helped Krensavage finish 2016 up 14%.
“She’s the real deal,” Marc Cohodes told Bloomberg. “I think she’s ruthless, I think she’s cold-blooded, and I think she’s dogged.”
Quadir says Cohodes taught her to exercise patience when it comes to markets. “I prefer to initiate a position so that it won’t run me over if the markets are acting crazy,” she said.
As of August 1, Safkhet Capital had not yet filed paperwork with the SEC, but a website lists the fund’s headquarters in New York. Business Insider has reached to the company for more information, and will update this post if it becomes available.
“There are so few people who can do this, so I hope she does exceptionally well,” Cohodes said.
Rachael Levy contributed to this report.
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