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Who is Julian Barnett? (Or how an IT programmer became a ‘star’ hedge fund manager)

Julian Barnett is in the news. Aged just 33, and 11 years out of university, he is setting up his own $200m hedge fund, Ridley Park Capital.

The Financial Times describes it as, ‘one of the most anticipated start ups among London’s hedge fund community this year.’

How did Julian achieve such acclaim?

1) He left university and went into IT at a wealth management firm

It’s not clear which university Julian went to, but he certainly didn’t go to Cambridge or a French Grande Ecole and graduate to Goldman Sachs as a trader.

Instead, Julian joined Close Brothers Wealth Management.

We assume he started in the technology division as we’re told Julian spent his initial years at Close, ‘building the dealing and software systems.’

2) He became a junior fund manager

From building dealing and software models, Julian moved to become, ‘the third member of a team managing a 250m concentrated UK equity portfolio.’

3) He ‘leveraged’ his quant skills

At Close, Julian appears to have won plaudits for his quantitative abilities. We’re told he was, ‘responsible for the building of risk, quantitative and valuation screening models,’ as well as doing a bit of asset allocation, portfolio management, stock analysis, trading and risk management.

4) He ‘maximised his exposure’ with frequent job moves

Having become the darling of the Close UK Equity Portfolio, Julian didn’t stick around. Three years after joining Close, he left to join hedge fund Polar Capital as co-manager of the UK fund. Two years’ later, he launched the Polar Capital Paragon fund. Five years’ after that he left Polar for ‘personal reasons.’ Now he’s starting up on his own.

5) He could have retired at 32

Had he wanted, and providing he’s prepared to live comparatively modestly, Barnett could have retired aged 32. When he left Paragon he’s said to have received a 12m bonus in recognition of the fact that his fund was up 21% in 2008, while the average fund fell 19%.

Comments (8)

  1. adab photoshop

  2. Julian didn’t get anywhere near the payout the media reports…Polar retained a lot of it … he was the right guy at the wrong place….should have been at GLG or Citadel or Brevan.

  3. Is there some kind of “yes I can” campaign going on?… praising wealthy HF managers who “did not go to Oxbridge or a French Frande Ecole”… Or does it imply that Oxbfidge and French schools are not that good if you wanna make big bucks? Or is he recruiting big time?

    Sorry, just trying to understand why I should care about that guy’s life…

  4. What I am appalled by is that people who are essentially gamblers and make no contribution of value to society are being deified.

  5. I’m 22 and work in IT at Close, can I start marketing my own fund now?

  6. Snore. “Who is Julian Barnett”…..who cares?

  7. The use of the term ‘star’ is used to often in finance. Have people learned nothing from the last few years?

  8. I myself spent over 25 years as a small cog in the IT machine of many a small enterprise. Finally, in my mid 40s I have earnt the title ‘Quantitative Research Analyst’ at a hedge fund. Make no mistake, I’d be happy with a minisule fraction of young Julian’s reported bonus, but I do feel I have made it to the upper echelon.

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