When a top hedge fund manager donated money to start a student-run portfolio at the University of Virginia in 1994, Richard Gerson was one of the few undergraduates to earn a spot managing the six-figure portfolio.
It was the first connection of many that paved his way to the upper echelons of the hedge fund industry.
Mr. Gerson parlayed his college experience into an internship at Tiger Management, the vaunted hedge fund firm run by Julian Robertson. He then helped John Griffin, a top deputy of Mr. Robertson and the sponsor of the investment club, start Blue Ridge Capital.
Now, Mr. Gerson, 37, is building a new firm.
Mr. Gerson and his business partner, Navroz D. Udwadia, have raised $1.2 billion for Falcon Edge Capital, according to people with knowledge of the matter. At a time when investors are reluctant to hand over money to unproven managers, Falcon Edge is the hedge fund equivalent of a high first-round draft pick.
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