08 October 2007

Hedge Fund Style

The term 'hedge fund style' is typically used to refer to a hedge fund's investment strategy. Some examples include special situation, macro, long/short, emerging markets, or convertible arb. The hedge funds with which I am involved use a market neutral and PIPE approach. But here I am referring to the sartorial style of hedge fund professionals themselves.

When it comes to clothing, hedge fund professionals are not a terribly creative bunch. From my observations, I note they are fond of oxford cloth button-down shirts (OCBDs), flat-front khakis, and loafers. That's about it. Loafers include Allen-Edmonds, Tod's, Ferragamo, and Gucci. Suits are for bankers, not hedgies, and sports jackets and blazers are reserved for special occasions. Ties? Don't be ridiculous. It is true, some hedge fund executives are drawn to trendier clothing, such as Armani and Boss. These chaps often possess pushy, aggressive personalities and see themselves as mavericks, operating outside the system. Their social insecurities make them eschew more traditional clothing items, especially those associated with understated Ivy League or British styles, in favour of the flashier brands.

I recently met with several hedge funds in San Francisco. While standing outside Tadich Grill waiting for my limo, I spied two gentlemen on the street sporting a classic look. The first gentleman was wearing a 2-button, single-breasted, grey chalk striped suit, pink OCBD dress shirt, blue-ish tie, and chestnut tan tassel loafers by Alden or Brooks Brothers. The other man was wearing a classic 2-button, single-breasted navy suit, white dress shirt, red Brooks Brothers repp tie, and black tassel loafers. A fairly unimaginative look, I know, but somehow the addition of tassel loafers gave it a cavalier appeal. That same morning, walking along Montgomery, I saw a young gentleman wearing a tweed sports jacket, flannels, brown suede brogues, and a trilby. These were not hedge fund professionals. More likely, lawyers or bankers.


applevenusian said...

Thanks for the brief description of "hedge fund". I still don't really know what they are, though. I have a 403b and that is the extent of my knowledge of investing.

Thank you also for the style breakdown of hedge fund profs. You guys sound like a pretty cute bunch. =)

Anonymous said...

A gentleman does not refer to a car as a "limo" unless he is a rapper.