While Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer prepared for the finals at the US Open in Flushing Meadows on Sunday, Wall Street’s biggest hitters were playing in their own version of a Grand Slam.
Team Wall Street took on Team Europe in the first annual “Finance Cup” on Saturday at Randall’s Island.
The Finance Cup was co-organised by London-based portfolio manager David Anving and New York-based investment banker Jeffrey Appel.
Appel, nicknamed the “Mayor of New York Tennis,” has been credited with helping young tennis players land jobs on Wall Street. He’s also credited for bringing hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, the founder of Pershing Square Capital, back into the tennis world.
The tournament was an incredible opportunity for folks in the finance community to network and catch up with colleagues from overseas. Next year, the event will be held in London on grass courts.
The event was originally supposed to be held at the New York Athletic Club’s outdoor tennis courts in Pelham. Because of the inclement weather, the event was relocated to Randall’s Island. It was steamy and hot inside the bubble. All of the players looked like they had gone swimming.
After three intense rounds, Team Wall Street came out with a sweeping victory. The main event, of course, was the battle of the activist investors — Pershing Square Capital’s Ackman versus Cevian Capital’s Christer Gardell. Ackman’s team came out victorious too.
We’ve included photo highlights and scores below.
Team Wall Street's Amer Delic, the current Davis Cup captain for Bosnia, teamed up with fellow six-foot-five player Mario Ancic. Ancic, who works for Credit Suisse, hit a shot which Bill Ackman described as one of the best he had ever seen.
Ancic, 31, graduated from Columbia Law School and is now working in the leveraged finance group at Credit Suisse. At one point, he was ranked #7 in the world for singles. He had a win against Roger Federer at Wimbledon.
Team Europe's Ludovic Walter, 31, bought out the big serve that once made him rank as high as 279 in the world. Walter played #1 for Duke and is currently an associate at Cohen Partners in London.
Walter's partner was Swedish player Alexander Hartman, a Goldman Sachs alum who also played #1 at Ole Miss.
Thomas Blake, 39, works for Jaffe Tilchin Investment Partners. Blake, who played #1 for Harvard, teamed up with Harvard alum Kunj Majmudar.
Kunj Majmudar, 37, played #1 doubles at Harvard with Thomas Blake's younger brother James. Together, they were ranked #1 in NCAA doubles.
Team Europe's Tobias Hildebrand, 40, is the head of HSBC Private Banking in the Nordics. He was ranked as high as 427 in singles and 210 for doubles.
Oliver Freelove, 38, was ranked 535 in the world for singles and in the top 250 for doubles. He played for the University of Illinois and was ranked #4 in NCAA singles.
Boutique investment bank CEO Steve Hentschel, 48, showed an incredible amount of athleticism on the court. Hentschel was the captain of the team when he played for Princeton.
Hentschel's partner was John Ross, managing partner at boutique M&A advisor Fidus Partners. Ross, 51, played for Southern Methodist University where he was a three-time All-American.
Team Europe's Alfredo Caturano, 46, is a managing director at JPMorgan. He was an Italian Junior doubles champion at the under 18 level.
Caturano teamed up with Zubin Irani, a partner at Westbrook Partners and former Goldman partner. Irani, 46, was ranked in the top 30 in the world as a junior. He played #1 at Cornell.
Team Wall Street's Brendan Evans went pro as a teenager. He had a ranking as high as 117 in the world for singles and 119 for doubles. He won three junior grand slam doubles tournaments with Scott Oudsema, his partner for the Finance Cup.
Scott Oudsema, 29, is a private equity associate at Mid-Ocean Partners. He was ranked #1 in junior doubles with Evans. Together, they won three junior grand slam doubles tournaments.
Team Europe's captain David Anving, a 33-year-old from Sweden, showed his strong backhand during the match against Wall Street's Evans/Oudsema.
Team Europe's Luis Rattenhuber, 28, was slamming his serves. He worked at Goldman as an M&A analyst and is currently studying at Harvard Business School.
Here's Jeffrey Appel, a senior managing director at Broadband Capital. Appel noted earlier that they 'hedged their position' by planning to hold the tournament at the indoor courts on Randall's.
Here's Gardell, with HSBC Private Banking's Tobias Hildebrand, and CEO of Deutsche Bank Nordics Jan Olsson.
Team Europe's Thierry Lucas, a founder at Portland Hill Capital, showed intensity on the court. He won the silver medal at the Portuguese National Championship in the 40+ category two years ago.
Lucas' partner James Reynolds was a highly ranked French junior player. Reynolds is now a managing director at Goldman.
The tournament was a great opportunity for Team Wall Street and Team Europe to reconnect with old friends. Thierry Lucas knew Goldman's Pablo Salame from when they were both in London. Salame is now Goldman's cohead of global securities bade in New York.
Rob Pohly, 43, is the founder of $6 billion Samlyn Capital. He played #1 at Yale. He teamed up with Kunj Majmudar to go against Team Europe's Oliver Freelove/James Reynolds.
Goldman's Pablo Salame, 49, played for Brown University. He was trained at the Bollettieri Academy as a kid. He teamed up with Jeffrey Appel.
Gardell, 55, showed an incredible amount of athleticism. He didn't really start playing tennis until his 40s. He frequently plays during his lunch breaks.
Gardell's first partner was Jan Olsson, the CEO of Deutsche Bank's Nordic Region. Olsson played college tennis at Pomona College.
Team Wall Street's Marc Powers, a 24-year-old analyst at Samlyn Capital, showed incredible racquet head speed. He played #1 at Yale all four years. He was named 'rookie of the year' and 'player of the year' in the Ivy League during the same year.
Powers' doubles partner Jason Pinsky, a 28 year-old portfolio manager at Nema Capital, had some strong ground strokes. He played #1 at the University of Pennsylvania.
Team Europe's Luis Rattenhuber and Ludovic Walter were standouts during the tournament. Even though both of them had played in earlier matches, they put up a great fight against Powers/Pinsky and came out on top.
The main event of course was the doubles match between the two activist titans. Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman brought his big serve, intensity, and his desire to win.
Ackman partnered with Walter Dolhare, the head of the markets division at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, NC. Dolhare played for Notre Dame and was a ranked junior in Argentina.
Europe's biggest activist investor Christer Gardell of Cevian Capital played a strong game with his partner Zubin Irani. Both of them had played in an earlier match.
After everyone cleaned up, they met at STK in Manhattan's Meatpacking District for dinner and awards. ESPN tennis analyst Brad Gilbert presented the first Finance Cup to Appel and Ackman.
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