Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Strategies

Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Strategies (GSHFS) grew out of Commodities Corporation. Commodities Corp. was a company where some of today's best traders began their careers - traders like Ed Seykota, Michael Marcus, Paul Tudor Jones, Bruce Kovner and Louis Bacon all began at CC. Commodities Corp. at one time was considered a model of bustling entrepreneurship.

It was also perceived to be a place of work which was somewhat Ivy League and preppy in atmosphere and style, reflecting that it was founded by a Nobel Laureate in Economics (Paul Samuelson) and someone with a Ph.D. from MIT (Helmut Weymar). How this sort of organisation can operate and flourish inside a quoted investment bank was the key question that was taken by The Hedge Fund Journal to the London offices of GSHFS located by St. Paul's Cathedral.

When Nadja Pinnavaia, now Head of Hedge Fund Strategies for Europe and Asia (ex-Japan), part of GSHFS, joined Goldman Sachs in 1995 the firm had more idea of what she was to do than she did herself. "At the time I finished my undergraduate course, I knew I wanted to go into finance," she says, "but then I undertook my Ph.D. so it didn't happen until later, I met with numerous banks on the milk-round, including Goldman Sachs."

Ms. Pinnavaia, given a "week off" between finishing her Ph.D. and commencing work, started out in equity derivatives in the London office. She continues, "There was a tremendous amount going on in derivatives at that time. The mid to late 1990s saw an evolution in derivative products; new structures being created and asset allocation being implemented more efficiently through use of derivatives. We had a diverse and broad set of clients ranging from the large index-fund managers to global macro hedge funds and different types of institutional investors, including banks, pension plans and insurance companies throughout Europe and the UK."