According to one former hedge fund titan, finding the best talent is the most difficult part of running your own firm. 

Arthur “Art” Samberg, the former CEO of Pequot Capital, described his assessment process in an interview with OneWire’s Skiddy von Stade.

At one point, Pequot Capital was the biggest hedge fund in the world, managing $ 15 billion in assets at its peak. 

Although Samberg said intelligence is the first trait he looked for when making a hire, he emphasized perseverance more. Samberg also said passion is just as important.

“Somebody once told me early in my career: ‘Don’t confuse bull markets with brains,’” he said in the interview. “There are times when you just feel you’re the stupidest person in the world and you’ve got to persevere through it.”

Samberg said that’s who he’d look for – someone with the ability to weather the storm.

I like to sense whether a person is that kind of person, whether they’re just going to shrink and fold when they’re just on a cold streak or if they’re going to rise to the occasion, work harder, maintain their composure, and overcome.”

Samberg’s career has seen its own share of bad days. The first fund he helped launch was down 20 percent in its first year. He described the first 18 months as “gut-wrenching,” before the firm started taking off. Afterwards, Samberg split off and started Pequot Capital in 1986.

In 2010, the SEC charged Samberg and Pequot with insider trading. Samberg paid a settlement of $ 28 million and closed the firm. Now he runs his own family holding company, Hawkes Financial.

You can watch the full interview here >>

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