The competitive nature of playing a sport has helped a lot of folks succeed on Wall Street.
The tennis community in the finance world is no different.
Wall Street is littered with top tennis players. Many of them were top ranked junior players. Some were All-Americans in college. A few played professionally and were ranked globally. Hedge fund titans Bill Ackman (Pershing Square), Philippe Laffont (Coatue), Ricky Sandler (Eminence) and Barry Sternlicht (Starwood Capital) are also all active in this community.
People have been able to do business around their forehands and backhands. That’s because many of the tennis players on Wall Street know each other very well and feel comfortable doing business together.
What’s more, a bunch of the younger players met their employers on the court, and certain firms just love tennis players in general. We noticed in our list that Wexford Capital, ISI and Taconic Capital had a bunch of players.
In short, the tennis court is great place for networking in general.
One big player joked that Bill Ackman seems to fill his 7:30 a.m. Saturday court with aspiring junior hedge fund analysts who happen to be stellar players. Ackman actually met former Pershing Square analyst Mariusz Adamski playing tennis.
Now let’s meet some of the biggest players in finance.
If we’re missing any names, feel free to send us an email with a quick bio and a photograph. Please note, this list is not a ranking. These names are not in any particular order.
Finance Job: Taconic Capital Advisors
Education: Southern Methodist University (c/o 1987)
Tennis Highlights: During college, Renenberg was a three-time All-American (1985, 1986 and 1987). He was the No. 1 college player in the U.S. in 1987. He played on the professional tour for 13 years. He was a 10-time member of the prestigious U.S. David Cup team. He played in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He earned three career singles titles and 19 career doubles titles, including the 1992 U.S. Open and the 1995 Australian Open. He has wins over Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe and Michael Chang. In 1991, he had an ATP ranking of No. 20 in the world for singles.
John Ross, the chairman of Fidus Partners, played professionally and was ranked in the top 100 in the world.
Finance Job: Chairman of Fidus Partners
Education: Southern Methodist University
Tennis Highlights: He played on the Association of Tennis Professionals tour and was ranked as high as No. 92 in the world in 1988. Ross was a three-time All-American while at SMU. He was also a member of the USTA Junior Davis Cup team from 1984 to 1985.
Finance Job: He's now a Vice President in Venture Capital Relationship Management at SVB Financial Group in San Francisco.
Education: Stanford University (c/o 2005)
Tennis Highlights: While at Stanford University, Warburg was a four-time All-American. He also won the NCAA doubles championship in 2004. During his pro career, he traveled to over 35 countries while competing in 14 Grand Slams (Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open). He was ranked 132 in the world for singles at 117 for doubles. He has two wins over Pete Sampras.
Rudolfo Rake retired from professional tennis at age 21 to pursue a career in finance. He now works at Morgan Stanley.
Finance Job: Rake is a managing director in wealth management at Morgan Stanley. He became one of the youngest managing directors at Morgan Stanley at age 32.
Education: University of Miami
Tennis Highlights: Rake was ranked No. 7 in the world as a junior. He was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. under 16 in 1995 and under 18 in 1997. He played No. 1 as a freshman for the University of Miami. Rake was the champion at Kalamazoo (most important junior tournament in the U.S.) in the under 16 and under 18, in 1995 and 1997, respectively. He beat James Blake in the finals in 1997. Rake was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world in ITF ( International Tennis Federation) for under 18 in 1997. He was ranked as high as No. 320 in ATP tour professionally. During his career, he had wins over big tennis names such as Roger Federer, James Blake, Nicolas Massu and Taylor Dent in 1997. He also played in Main Draw of US Open in 1997. He retired at age 21 to pursue a career in finance.
Finance Job: He used to work for Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management until September 30th. Stay tuned for his next move.
Education: Wake Forest University (c/o 2008)
Tennis Highlights: In 2007, Adamski was named an NCAA All-American in doubles after advancing to the NCAA men's tennis semifinals. His most significant accomplishment came in 2007 when he, along with partner Todd Paul, upset the top-ranked doubles team in the nation. In the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, Adamski and Paul upset undefeated John Isner and Luis Flores of Georgia, 7-5, 7-5, on their home court to advance to the final four. Adamski finished his career with 147 combined singles and doubles victories with 74 in doubles and 73 in singles action.
Finance Job: She's works in private equity Gerson Lehrman Group
Education: Stanford (c/o 2002)
Tennis Highlights: She was a two-time All-American at Stanford. She won the NCAA team and doubles championships her senior year. After college, she played on the Women's Tennis Association tour from 2002 to 2004.
Michael Zimmerman, who runs Prentice Capital, was the captain of the Harvard team and helped lead them to four Ivy League Championships.
Finance Job: Prentice Capital
Education: Harvard (c/o 1992)
Tennis Highlights: He was a three-time First Team All-Ivy selection in singles and a four-time First Team All-Ivy selection in doubles. He was named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American in 1991 (doubles) and 1992 (doubles and singles). He was named EITA/Ivy League Player of the Year twice in college. His freshman year, he was named the EITA/Ivy League Rookie of the Year. He played in the NCAA Singles Championships three times and was a finalist in the ITA National Indoor Doubles Championships. He was also captain of the Harvard team and helped lead them to four Ivy League Championships.
Alex Seaver, who is the founder of Stadium Capital Management, played for Harvard and captained the United States Prentice Cup (combined Harvard/Yale team vs. international collegiate competition).
Finance Job: He's the co-founder/managing partner of Stadium Capital Management
Tennis Highlights: He was undefeated in singles at the National Team Championships(1982) and the New England Intercollegiate Singles Champion (1982). In 1982, Seaver was the captain of the United States Prentice Cup Team (combined Harvard-Yale team versus international collegiate competition). He's currently the Chairman of the U.S. Prentice Cup Committee. He plays doubles nationally with his son (currenlty ranked No. 7) and with his daughter (currently ranked No. 12).
Kaes Van't Hof, who is now working for Wexford Capital, was the NCAA doubles champion in 2008 while at USC.
Finance Job: He works at Wexford Capital.
Education: University of Southern California
Tennis Highlights: While playing for USC, Van't Hof was the PAC-10 singles and doubles champion his senior year. He was the 2008, NCAA doubles champion with his partner Robert Farah. In 2009, he reached at ATP world ranking of 605 for singles and 155 for doubles.
ISI managing director Francesc Lleal played on the ATP World Tour after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Finance Job: He's a managing director institutional equities sales at ISI
Education: Virginia Commonwealth University
Tennis Highlights: In 2001, he was ranked No. 632 in singles and 333 in doubles in the world by the ATP World Tour.
Kunj Majmudar, an analyst at a wealth management advisor, won the 1998 NCAA All-American National Championship in doubles.
Finance Job: He's an analyst at Seven Bridges Advisors.
Education: Harvard (c/o 1999)
Tennis Highlights: Majmudar was the winner of the NCAA All-American National Championship with partner James Blake (1998). He was ranked as high as No. 1 nationally in NCAA Division I doubles with partner James Blake (1998-1999). He was ranked top 25 nationally in the NCAA Division I singles. He was an NCAA Division I All-American.
Hedge fund manager Elena Piliptchak played on the Ukranian Junior National Tennis Team before going pro.
Finance Job: She was a 'Tiger Cub' and founded Tiger Europe in 2008. She now runs Axial.
Education: Kansas State University
Tennis Highlights: Pilptchak was a member of the Ukrainian Junior National Tennis team from 1986 to 1993. She played professionally from 1991 to 1993. She received a full NCAA Division I scholarship. She was an All-American Scholar Athlete in 1997 and 1998.
Jon Pastel, who now works for Wexford Capital, was the first player from Davidson College to play in the NCAA tournament.
Finance Job: He currently works at Panning Capital Management.
Education: University of Virginia (c/o 2006)
Tennis Highlights: He won two ACC championships at UVA. He was captain of the tennis team his junior and senior year. He was also an All-American. The UVA team was ranked No. 1 in the country his senior year during regular season.
Finance Job: Tudor Investment Corporation
Education: University of Pennsylvania
Tennis Highlights: He was a member of the USA National Team and Jr. Davis Cup Team. He won two International Tennis Federation titles. He was captain of the Penn tennis team. While at UPenn, he was named First Team All-Ivy and Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
Jason Pinsky, who works at Wexford, was the captain of the UPenn team and helped lead his team to back-to-back Ivy League titles.
Finance Job: Wexford Capital
Education: University of Pennsylvania
Tennis Highlights: Pinsky was ranked No. 1 in the country for boys 18 and under in 2004. He was the winner of doubles titles at the Easter Bowl, National Claycourts and International Hardcourts. He played No. 1 singles and doubles and was the captain of the UPenn team. While at Penn, he lead the team to back-to-back Ivy League titles in 2005 and 2006. He was named first-team All-Ivy and Academic All-Ivy.
Finance Job: He's an associate at J.H. Whitney & Co.
Education: Duke (c/o 2011)
Tennis Highlights: He played for the Duke Blue Devils. While at Duke, he finished his career with a 71-44 record in singles and 42-29 in doubles.
Brandon Ogara, an energy analyst, captained the UPenn team to its first Ivy League championship since 1970.
Finance Job: Energy analyst at Wexford Capital
Education: Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania (c/o 2008)
Tennis Highlights: He was the co-captain of the UPenn team his junior and senior seasons. While at UPenn, he helped his team win two Ivy League titles and the first UPenn Ivy League championship since 1970. During college, he won over 70 doubles matches.
Alex Stone, a trader at Merrill Lynch, played professionally throughout high school and college and was ranked on the ATP tour his senior year at Duke.
Finance Job: He's a CMBS trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Education: Duke (c/o 2004)
Tennis Highlights: When he was playing juniors, he was ranked as high as No. 1 in the Eastern Section for under 18 boys and top 20 for under 18 boys nationally. In college, Stone played both singles and doubles for the Duke team that won an ACC Championship. He was a four time ITA scholar athlete and captain of the Duke team his senior year. He finished his career with wins over every team in the ACC. He played professionally throughout high school and college and became ranked on the ATP tour his senior year (2004).
Mihai Nichifor, who works at Siridean Advisors, was an Ivy League champion who was undefeated in singles.
Finance Job: He's an associate at Siridean Advisors, a fund of funds.
Education: Columbia University (c/o 2010)
Tennis Highlights: He was an Ivy League Champion who was undefeated in Ivy League Singles. He was named All-Ivy League first-team singles and doubles. He was captain of the Columbia team. Before college, he was a Romanian Junior National Champion in both singles and doubles. He also played on the professional circuit before attending Columbia.
Eoin Heavey, who works at Eddie Lampert's hedge fund, was the No. 1 singles player during his time at UC-Berkeley.
Finance Job: Analyst at ESL Investments
Education: University of California, Berkeley (c/o 2009)
Tennis Highlights: While at Berkeley, he was the No. 1 singles player. He also played on the Ireland Davis Cup team in 2005 and 2008.
Finance Job: Brevan Howard
Tennis Highlights: Stein was four-time All-American during his time at Bates. He finished his senior year No. 1 in the country in doubles and No. 2 in singles. He was the NCAA doubles national champion. He captained the Bates team his junior and senior years.
Finance Job: Hedgeye analyst
Education: Yale (c/o 2008)
Tennis Highlights: Growing up in Dublin, Ireland, Green competed in Europe as a junior before coming to the U.S. to play tennis for Yale.
Finance Job: Eminence Capital
Education: University of Wisconsin
Tennis Highlights: Growing up, Sandler played in Junior tournaments on the east coast. He played briefly while at the University of Wisconsin.
Jeffrey Appel, a.k.a the 'Mayor of New York Tennis,' is extremely active in the tennis finance community. He also captained the New York Athletic Club team that won the Eastern National Open Level National Championship.
Finance Job: He's a senior managing director at Broadband Capital
Tennis Highlights: Jeff Appel been nicknamed the 'Mayor of New York Tennis.' He is extremely active in the tennis finance community and is great at connecting people. He was recently ranked No. 1 in the east and No. 12 in the U.S. for his age group. He's the captain of the New York Athletic Club's Eastern National Open Level National Championship Team. Bill Ackman credits him getting him back into the game. 'I owe a lot to Jeff Appel for getting me back in the game,' Ackman told Business Insider explaining that Appel cold called him 7 or 8 years ago. 'Ever since then, I've been incredibly passionate.'