The competitive nature of playing a sport has helped a lot of folks succeed on Wall Street.
And tennis is one of the most popular sports in finance today.
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. Wexford Capital’s Jason Pinsky is a frequent doubles partner for Ackman.
Since the U.S. Open is happening right now, we thought it would be a perfect time to introduce you to some of the biggest players on Wall Street.
Please note, this list is not a ranking. These names are not in any particular order. If you feel like we’re missing someone, shoot an email to [email protected] Please include why they should be on the list and include a photo. Thanks!
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 ten-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.
Alex O'Brien, who was ranked No. 1 in the world for doubles, is the president of Bank of Commerce in Texas.
Finance Job: He's the president of Bank of Commerce in Texas.
Education: Stanford University
Tennis Highlights: He was ranked No. 1 in the world for doubles and No. 30 for singles. During undergrad, he was a four-time All-American. He also represented the U.S. during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
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.
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: She's worked 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. She was ranked in the top 200 in the world.
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 (currently 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.
Growth investor Alex Clayton was a three-time captain of Stanford's team and a two-time All-American.
Finance Job: Clayton is a growth investor at Redpoint Ventures. Before that, he spent two years at Goldman working in the investment bank with the TMT group.
Tennis Highlights: Clayton won US Open Juniors with Donald Young, the Kalamazoo with Donald Young and the National Claycourts Singles. He played No. 1 singles at Stanford and was ranked as high as No. 1 in Division I. He was an NCAA singles semifinalist and quarterfinalist. He was also a three-time captain of the Stanford tennis team as well as a two-time All-American.
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 Ukrainian 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's an investment banking analyst at Guggenheim
Education: University of Michigan
Tennis Highlights: Oudsema was ranked No. 1 in the world in junior doubles winning Wimbledon, US Open and the Australian Open two times. He turned pro at age 18 and then returned the college. He was ranked as high as No. 255 in the world for singles.
Finance Job: He works for Loeb Partners as an analyst.
Education: University of Virginia
Tennis Highlights: He was ranked No. 4 in the world for juniors. He was also a member of the 2013 NCAA National Championship Team at UVA.
Finance Job: Millenium Partners
Tennis Highlights: Powers finished junior career ranked among the top 15 in the nation.While at Yale, he was named Ivy League Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. He was the first player ever to win both awards in the same season. His national rankings in college of 60 in singles and 19 in doubles (2011-2012).
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, who works at Morgan Stanley, played professionally throughout high school and college and was ranked on the ATP tour his senior year at Duke.
Finance Job: He works at Morgan Stanley.
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.
Dino Bilankov, an associate at a private equity firm, was ranked as high as No. 1 while playing as a junior in Croatia.
Finance Job: Diamond Castle Holdings, associate
Education: University of Minnesota
Tennis Highlights: Bilankov was the captain of the tennis team at the University of Minnesota (Junior and Senior year). While in college, he played in every position on the team, both singles (1-6) and doubles (1-3). He was a starter all four years. Growing up competing as a junior, he was ranked as high as No. 1 for Under 18 in Croatia. He was ranked 1,304 on ATP with only a few tournaments played during summers.
Finance Job: He's a vice president in investment banking at Credit Suisse. Before that, he worked for Morgan Stanley.
Education: Brown University (c/o 2007)
Tennis Highlights: He was a member of Brown's varsity men's tennis team. He achieved an ATP world ranking of 1100.
Finance Job: Vice President, Emerging Markets Fixed Income Sales & Trading at ITAU BBA
Education: Harvard University
Tennis Highlights: He grew Dublin, Ireland and played on the national and international junior pro tour. While playing Juniors he was ranked in Ireland as high as No.1 and was National Irish Champion for Under 18 Boys at 17. Doran played on the Varsity Tennis Team all 4 years at Harvard. While at Harvard his team won the ECACs and were Ivy League Champions. He came to New York after graduating and worked in Emerging Markets at Credit Suisse, and he now works at Itau BBA.
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 Division III 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: Sloves (pictures second from the right) is managing director at Jones Trading
Tennis Highlights: He was named All-Ivy League for doubles in 2001 and 2002 and All Ivy singles in 2001. While at Dartmouth, he played No. 1 singles and doubles.
Finance Job: Gerson Lehrman Group
Tennis Highlights: Oliver Cantrell was a top 10 junior in Spain, undefeated 26-0 High School Champion in the state of Indiana (1996),played as high as #1 for Louisville where we won two conference titles, had the most wins in school history as a freshman (28) and played in two NCAA tournaments.
Finance Job: Private Banker at Credit Suisse (senior partner on his team is Jamie Bell, Princeton tennis class of '97, who hired him while playing tennis at our club in NYC)
Education: Columbia (c/o 2009)
Tennis Highlights: He played four years of singles and doubles at Columbia University, contributing to two Ivy League titles, the second while senior captain (teammate was Mihai Nichifor, also mentioned on this). He was also a three time ITA scholar-athlete. On the junior circuit, he was ranked as high as #2 nationally in doubles and won a national doubles championship at the Florida Open. He continues to be active in the tennis community, having most recently won the men's singles championship at his club in Manhattan.
Steven Rooda, a current Investment Analyst at the University of Virginia Investment Management Company, helped the Cavaliers to 3 National Indoor Championships, 2 NCAA Finals Appearances, and 4 ACC Regular Season and Tournament Championships.
Finance Job: Investment Analyst at University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO)
Education: B.S. Commerce from University of Virginia (2012)
Tennis Highlights: Coming to the U.S. all the way from Amersfoort, the Netherlands, Steven began his career at Virginia after being ranked as high as No. 4 nationally in Boys 18's in Holland. Playing both singles and doubles early on in his career, he reached a high ranking of #12 in doubles and #80 in singles, respectively. During his time at Virginia, the Cavaliers were able to capture 3 consecutive ITA National Indoor Championships, 4 ACC Regular Season and Tournament Championships, and 2 NCAA Finals Appearances. Steven was on the All-ACC Academic team in 2009-2010 and 2011-2012, along with receiving Dean's List Honours in the Fall of 2008 and 2011, and the Spring of 2010 and 2012.
Drew Courtney, now an associate at Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, was a former NCAA Doubles Champion while at UVA and helped lead the team to four undefeated seasons in the ACC.
Finance Job: Associate at Merrill Lynch Private Wealth
Education: University of Virginia (2012)
Tennis Highlights: While playing for UVA, Drew helped the team win four ACC titles and three National Indoor Championships. During his tenure, UVA finished the regular season ranked No. 1 for three consecutive years. In 2010, he won the NCAA Doubles Championship as a sophomore. During his collegiate career, he was ranked as high as No. 1 nationally in NCAA doubles and as high as No. 15 in singles. He was a three-time doubles All-American and he was voted on the ITA National Indoors All-Tournament Team in 2009, 2010 and 2011. After college, Drew played on the pro-tour and reached a career-high doubles ranking of No. 212 in the world. While playing as a professional tennis player, he competed in the 2010 U.S. Open and also reached the semifinals of the prestigious Citi Open ATP 500 tournament in 2012. He has since retired tennis to pursue a career in finance but has stayed actively involved with various tennis charity events.
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: Schonfeld
Education: Lafayette College
Tennis Highlights: A ranked junior tennis player in the early-mid 1980s, Nick played No. 1 singles for Lafayette College, winning four conference titles over his collegiate career. Though he no longer competes, he currently plays twice a week with other players on this list.
Finance Job: Bond trader at Davy Capital Markets
Education: Notre Dame
Tennis Highlights: He was an Irish National Junior Champion and played at Notre Dame on scholarship where his team was ranked as high as number 4 NCAA his senior year. King was a Monogram winner all four years. He played professionally for three years and was on the Irish Davis Cup team from 2009 -- 2011. He was the Davis Cup hero in July 2011 winning the deciding match against Tunisia before retiring to resume his business career. He was ranked as high as No. 20 NCAA in doubles and 100 in singles. His career in ATP was 600.
Current Senior Player Bob Litwin, former # 1 in the World, is a Performance Coach consultant for multiple hedge funds on Wall Street.
Finance: Founder of The Focus Coaching Group, LLC.
Education: University of Michigan, BA.
Tennis Highlights: Sixteen-time USTA National Champion, eight-time USA Senior Davis Cup Player, 2005 ITF Senior World Champion, ranked #1 in the world 55 and over, Eastern Hall of Fame Inductee.
Finance Job: Blacktone CEO
Tennis Highlights: 'Although he did not play at Yale, Harvard or Wharton where he studied, he should have,' says his tennis pro instructor.
Schwarzman holds doubles win's over Grand Slam Champions Bjorn Borg (2010 St. Tropez) teaming up with John McEnroe for the St. Tropez Classic. A win over Jimmy Connors (February 2013) Palm Beach, teaming up with Tim LoBello. A win over Matt's Wilander (February 2010) teaming again with John McEnroe. A win over John McEnroe (July 2011) St. Tropez Classic, teaming up with Fabrice Santoro.
Finance Job: Soros Fund Management
Education: London School of Economics
Tennis Highlights: We hear that Soros plays 2 times a week in Bedford, NY and he has never left the court before 3 hours has gone by.
Finance Job: He's the founder of AQR Capital Management.
Tennis Highlights: He received an athletic scholarship to play tennis for Northwestern. He was also a nationally ranked in the U.S. He was a semi finalist at the St. Louis Invitational. He won numerous singles titles in juniors.
Finance Jobs: Henry Blodget (right) worked at Citibank and Putnam Trust for more than four decades and Henry Blodget (middle left) was a stock analyst at Oppenheimer and Merrill Lynch in the 1990s.
Tennis Highlights: Henry Blodget (right) was the captain of Yale's tennis team in the early 1950s, and he is currently ranked in the USTA's Eastern region in the 80-and-over age bracket. Henry and his son Henry (middle left) are ranked in the USTA's national Ultra Senior Father-Son Grass Court division. Henry and Henry are pictured here with an upcoming junior player, Magnus Von Ziegesar (left), and Connecticut-based tennis pro (Todd Piker) who beat them in a tough three-set tournament final last summer.
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 captains the New York Athletic Club( Eastern National Team) that won the National Open Level National Championships ( 2010,2011, 2012 and 2013).
Finance Job: He's a senior managing director at Broadband Capital
Education: University of Pennsylvania
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 plays nationally and internationally. Appel is the captain of the New York Athletic Club sponsored Eastern National Team that has won four consecutive National Open Level National Championships (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). 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.'
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