Panel on Seeders & Early Allocators

Affinity Group
33rd event

Greg Hall, The Blackstone Group, New York, NY
Gregory Hall is a Managing Director in the Funds of Hedge Funds Group. Since joining Blackstone in 2004, Mr. Hall has been involved in portfolio management, primarily focused on global hedged equity strategies. In addition, he has been involved in hedge fund manager evaluation, selection and monitoring. He serves on BAAM’s Investment Committee and also serves as a portfolio manager for the Blackstone Strategic Alliance Fund.

Prior to joining Blackstone in 2004, Mr. Hall worked as an Analyst covering the financial services sector for two hedge funds, first with Hunter Global Investors and subsequently with Radiant Capital. Mr. Hall began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. as an Equity Research Analyst and later as a member of its strategic venture capital division.

Mr. Hall received a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he graduated magna cum laude.

Ken Stemme, Larch Lane, New York, NY
Kenneth W. Stemme, Director of Research, joined Larch Lane Advisors LLC in April 2007. Mr. Stemme was previously a Senior Vice President and Director of Hedge Fund Investments at Northern Trust Global Advisors, where he managed approximately $1 billion in assets and chaired the Hedge Fund Investment Committee.

Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2003, Mr. Stemme was a Managing Director in the Alternative Investment Group at American Express Asset Management. From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Stemme was Executive Director in the Alternative Investment Group at CIBC Oppenheimer, where he was involved in the creation and management of a registered fund of funds. From 1990 through 1998, Mr. Stemme worked at Harris Associates, last serving as a research associate.

Mr. Stemme received his B.A. from Cornell University and his M.B.A. from DePaul University.

Jeff Willardson, PAAMCO, Irvine, CA
Jeff Willardson, MBA, CFA, CQF is an Associate Director and Portfolio Manager in Portfolio Solutions working with customized client portfolios including Emerging Manager mandates. He conducts manager due diligence and risk monitoring for managers across all PAAMCO strategies with an emphasis on credit strategies, emerging markets, and real estate. Jeff also supervises the analysts who support the firm’s client service activities and has responsibility for certain institutional client relationships. Prior to joining PAAMCO Jeff spent five years as a Financial Analyst and Associate at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the Investment Management Division. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Management (Finance Major) and received his M.B.A. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Dual Finance and Real Estate Major).

Sandra Poe, ReedSmith, New York, NY
Alexandra Poe joined the firm in 2009 as a partner in the Private Funds group of the Reed Smith Business & Finance practice. Sandra has 24 years experience in investment management practice counseling managers of hedge funds, private equity funds, mutual funds, institutional investment advisers and broker-dealer advised programs. Sandra’s practice focuses on counseling hedge and private equity fund advisers in all stages of their business, including fund formation, structuring the manager and its affiliates, adviser registration, compliance program development, compliance training and advice, placement arrangements, marketing, client relations (including side letter and seed investor negotiations), the creation and implementation of liquidity crunch strategies, and day to day trading and operations advice. Sandra has also supervised international law surveys, created structures allowing investment through non-traditional assets such as trade receivables, and advised regarding participation in government assisted troubled asset programs.

Other representations include advice in connection with investment adviser acquisitions, implementation of compliance following prosecutorial settlement agreements, mutual fund governance matters, hedge fund due diligence, managed account program contracts and operations, and traditional adviser set-up, marketing, registration and compliance. Sandra has significant prior experience working in-house with a wide variety of asset managers. Sandra spent five years as General Counsel at Schroder Capital Management (U.S.) and served as President of the Schroder family of mutual funds. During those years she oversaw the legal aspects of the growth, operations and governance of the mutual funds, expansion of Schroders’ participation in U.S. managed accounts platforms, and the inauguration of the first Schroders hedge funds. She also served as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at US Trust, where she was Chief Legal Officer of the Excelsior family of mutual and alternative investment funds, where she advised the initial adoption of fund compliance programs, the conversion of service providers, and the response to fiduciary and auditor independence issues of considerable significance. Finally, Sandra, also served as Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Managed Accounts and Alternative Investment Strategies at Prudential Financial and as Vice President and investment company counsel for Citibank Global Asset Management.

Mike Linn, New York, NY
Michael J. Linn has 25 years of operational, transaction and start-up experience in the investment management and banking business. In 2009, Mr. Linn played a key role in the formation of multiple alternative investment firms, including a new investment manager that has institutional sponsorship and up to $150 million of seed capital. From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Linn was a managing director at BlackRock. Mr. Linn joined BlackRock following the acquisition of the fund of funds business of Quellos Group. From 2002 to 2007, Mr. Linn served as a managing director at Quellos. At BlackRock and Quellos Group, Mr. Linn had primary responsibility for evaluating, negotiating, structuring and monitoring hedge fund seed capital investments. Mr. Linn was a member of the Portfolio Management Group (investment committee) for the firm’s hedge fund seed capital platform.

From 1998 to 2002, Mr. Linn was a general partner at Omega Advisors and was responsible for operational and general business matters. In 2002, he served as chief operating officer of Omega Advisors where he had primary responsibility for non-investment functions, including operations, client service, human resources, and legal and compliance. From 1996-1998, Mr. Linn was the chief operating officer of an asset management company that he co-founded. From 1988 to 1996, Mr. Linn was employed by Steinhardt Management Company where he made principal investments on behalf of the general partners of Steinhardt Partners. At Steinhardt, he established and managed strategic and joint venture relationships. In 1994, he became a general partner of Steinhardt Partners.

Mr. Linn received a B.A. in chemistry from Emory University. Mr. Linn also received an MBA and a M.S. from Louisiana State University.

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