The tennis community on Wall Street is extremely tight-knit. At 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings, you can probably find Bill Ackman of Pershing Square and other finance folks playing on the Randall’s Island courts.
This weekend, the Wall Street tennis community held a fundraiser tournament for the R Baby Foundation — a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to saving babies lives through improving pediatric emergency care.
Some hedge fund managers in attendance included, Bill Ackman (Pershing Square), Marc Lasry (Avenue Capital), Jon Bader (Halcyon) and Bruce Richards (Marathon), just to name a few. There were also a bunch of world-ranked players at the tournament. In the end, a professional poker player and fund manager duo were the winners.
The tournament raised at least $US270,000 for R Baby.
A big thank you to photographer Tom Newton, who was kind enough to share some of his photos with us. We’ve included highlights from the tournament in the slides that follow.
Andrew Rabinowitz, the CFO of Marathon, started R Baby with his wife following the passing of their baby girl in 2006.
Andrew Rabinowitz' wife Phyllis with Jared Palmer, the former No. 1 doubles tennis player in the world.
Every year, about 30,000 babies die in the U.S. Most emergency rooms aren't equipped to take care of babies. That's because infants require specialised medical training and equipment. R Baby gives grants all over the country to improve this. Those grants are used to fund training programs, including simulation technology seen below.
The players had the opportunity place wagers on each team. This helped raise even more money during the tournament.
Hedge fund managers Marc Lasry and Bill Ackman teamed up to match up to $US100,000 raised during the event.
The tournament was played out with six teams in four groups. Each team played the other five teams in their group for eight games with no add scoring. This makes it go faster. So whoever had the most game cumulative wins moved on to the semifinals.
Jeff Appel, also known as the 'mayor' of New York tennis, was unable to play this year due to an injury. He was the co-host charity event. He also has a reputation for being a great connector in the tennis community. He's the guy who called up Bill Ackman and got him to pick up the sport for the first time since high school.
Jason Pinsky, the chairman of the R Baby Tennis Tournament, played with Bill Ackman. Pinsky works for Wexford Capital in Connecticut.
'Bill Ackman plays as if he's a college players. He's considered a physical phenom. He never gets tired. He gets better as other people close to his age bodies start to break down,' a knowledgeable player commented.
If there was a sportsmanship award, Avenue Capital's Marc Lasry certainly would have won it. The hedge fund manager had a smile on his face the whole time and he commented how other players were really good. He also only missed one forehand all day.
David Kirsch and Josh Mactaggart of Mudrick Capital. Their CEO Jason Mudrick came out to watch them play. He also donated money to R Baby.
The CEO/president of Ellington Financial Larry Penn played with Stephen Bass. Penn was on the U.S. mathematical Olympic team. He got a 1600 on his SAT and he breezed through Harvard in 2.5 years, a source told us.
Bruce Richards, who runs Marathon, made it to the tournament following last week's SALT Conference in Las Vegas. He played with James Blake's brother, Thomas Blake.
Brawn played with Jason Pinsky's younger brother, Jared. He played for Duke. He works at J.H. Whitney.
Kunj Majmudar, an analyst at Seven Bridges Advisors, won the NCAA All-American National Championship with partner James Blake in 1998.
Drew Courtney played for the University of Virginia. He now works for Brown Advisory in Washington, D.C. He previously worked at Merrill Lynch.
Michael Dubb, who owns homebuilding company The Beechwood Organisation, played with former No. 1 in the world Jared Palmer.
Jeremy Mindich and Adrian Contreras after losing the finals. Mindich got a cramp in his hand after hours of tennis.
Here are the final players -- Jon Pastel, Christian Nagler, Jason Pinsky, Bill Ackman, Stephen Bass, Larry Penn, Jeremy Mindich and Adrian Contreras.
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