About the judges

The judging process
The judging process is rigorous and thorough to ensure that all the entries receive full consideration and that the true winners are chosen. Judges will take part in a judging conference call, where the winners will be decided, with one expert per category will be asked to summarize the judges comments and provide any additional input as required. Judges have discretionary power to move submissions into alternative categories that they think may be more suitable. All judges are required to sign a disclaimer form to keep information about entries and the final winners confidential. 

The judging panel
The judges are carefully selected for their wealth of experience and expertise, as well as their absence of conflicts of interest.

PLEASE NOTE: Judges do not judge any categories that their company has been entered in and are obliged to declare that they have no conflicts of interest prior to judging.

Gordon Barnes, managing director, head of operational due diligence, Cambridge Associates


Nathanael Benzaken
Nathanaël Benzaken, chief executive officer, Lyxor Inc.
Nathanaël was appointed CEO of Lyxor Inc. in August 2014. He joined Lyxor S.A.S. in March 2001 as the Head of the Long/Short Equity Desk. He was promoted to Managing Director and Head of Hedge Fund Research and Selection in January 2005, where he was in charge of construction and management of the managed account platform, including due diligence, selection, and risk management of hedge funds. Nathanaël was appointed Head of the Managed Account Platform in June 2009. In July 2013, he was promoted to Deputy Head of Alternative Investments, and Head of Business Development for Managed Accounts. Prior to joining Lyxor S.A.S., Nathanaël was a Manager of the Financial Risk Consulting Division at Andersen (Luxembourg) for two and half years and Treasurer at Crédit Agricole for three years.

Neal Berger
Neal Berger, president and founder, Eagle’s View Capital Management, LLC
Neal is a veteran Wall Street trader/investor of over 25 years. He spent a dozen years as a proprietary global macro trader most notably at Millennium Partners hedge fund. Neal was also a proprietary trader at Fuji Bank as well as Chase Manhattan Bank where he was a Senior Vice President. Neal has been an investor in hedge funds for more than 20 years on behalf of his own family as well as other high-net worth individuals, family offices, and select institutions. Eagle’s View Capital Management is the investment manager to seven fund of funds and also runs an active advisory business creating customized portfolios of hedge funds for high-net worth individuals and institutions. Eagle’s View also runs a multi-strategy hedge fund. Neal is widely known for investing in ‘niche-oriented’, under the radar, non-mainstream strategies such as power trading, algorithmic pattern recognition, shipping derivatives, volatility arbitrage and various other strategies that seek to exploit structural inefficiencies in the market. 

Westley Chapman
Westley Chapman, CEO, Alphapipe
Westley is the CEO and founder of Alpha Pipe Inc., a provider of secure, online services for alternative investment and private fund investors, managers and service providers that ease the exchange of information while enhancing dependent due diligence and monitoring processes via automation and design. Prior to founding AlphaPipe, West was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. During his 16 year career at Goldman Sachs, West held a variety of leadership roles including building and leading the risk and operational due diligence teams within GSAM's alternative investment and manager selection business, chairing the Operational Controls Committee, serving on the Investment Committee for Liquid Markets Alternatives, and serving as Chief Financial Officer of the Investment Management Division. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, West was at Travelers Group, focusing on business planning for the life insurance businesses, and Price Waterhouse, focusing on the IBM audit engagement.

Ben Djerroud
Ben Djerroud, senior director, portfolio analytics and management, Sigma
Ben is the Senior Director for portfolio analytics and management at Sigma where he has been a member since 2000. Ben has been involved and in charge of various aspects of the quantitative analysis of hedge funds and related alternative strategies, portfolio construction and evaluation. More recently with Sigma innovative approach for investing in alternative strategies on behalf of institutional investors, Ben is in charge of the investment analytics and risk management of hedge fund strategies and portfolios based on real-time data. Prior to joining Sigma in 2000, Ben spent 13 years in nuclear and particle physics research, conducting experiments at various international labs in France, Canada and the US. He then joined the Risk Lab at the University Toronto to collaborate with Prof. Seco on applied mathematics projects in partnership with the financial industry. 

Simon Fludgate
Simon Fludgate, partner, head of operational due diligence, Aksia
Simon has over 23 years of audit, financial accounting, credit and operational due diligence experience. He serves as the Head of the Operational Due Diligence team, managing a team of research professionals dedicated to performing operational due diligence of hedge fund and private credit and opportunistic investments on behalf of clients. Simon is also a member of Aksia’s Risk Committee, which evaluates and reviews the risks of funds and managers to which Aksia’s clients have exposure. Prior to Aksia, Simon worked at Credit Suisse, where he was the Head of Operational Due Diligence and Deputy Head of Risk Management for Credit Suisse’s fund of hedge funds activities. Prior to Credit Suisse, Simon worked for KBC Financial Products (formerly D.E. Shaw Financial Products) as a risk manager working on market risk and hedge fund counterparty risk. He joined D.E. Shaw in 1997 as an accounting supervisor in their financial and operations group. Simon started his professional career in 1993 working for Richard A. Eisner & Company (EisnerAmper LLP) in the audit department. 

Rachel Minard
Rachel Minard, founder and chief executive officer, Minard Capital
Rachel is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minard Capital, a leading independent, global asset raising consulting firm headquartered in San Francisco. The firm is dedicated to offering strategic, asset raising consulting services to alternative investment management firms around the world. Minard Capital is not a broker/dealer nor third-party marketer. Before building Minard Capital, Rachel built and managed global institutional investment businesses for 25 years, including 19 years building fund of hedge fund firms, notably Cadogan Management and Corbin Capital Partners. Having raised over $14 billion in her career, Rachel started her marketing career in 1991 after her first company was hired to build the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Rachel, widely regarded as a leader in the hedge fund industry, has won numerous industry awards for institutional marketing and serves on several-high profile advisory boards. She has been featured on CNBC, TEDx and NPR and speaks alongside the world’s preeminent sophisticated investors on all facets of investing as well as the tips and techniques of capital raising. She also serves on the Investment Sub-Committee of the Westover School Endowment. 

Chris Solarz
Chris Solarz, managing director, Cliffwater LLC
Chris is a Managing Director of Cliffwater in their New York office and a member of the hedge fund research team. Prior to joining Cliffwater in 2011, Chris was a Senior Analyst at SAIL Advisors, where he focused on manager selection and due diligence as Head of Research for tactical trading and relative value strategies. Previous experience includes working for ING Investment Management, Antarctica Asset Management, Societe Generale Barr Devlin, and CIBC World Markets. He earned a BA in economics and anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and a MComm in finance from the University of New South Wales, where he was a Federation Scholar. Chris is a Certified Public Accountant, holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst® designation, the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, and is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts. Chris has broken six Guinness World Records, has run marathons on all seven continents and in all 50 US states.

Donald Steinbrugge
Donald A. Steinbrugge, CFA – managing partner, Agecroft Partners
Don is the Founder and Managing Partner of Agecroft Partners, a global hedge fund consulting and marketing firm. Agecroft Partners has won 34 industry awards as the Hedge Fund Marketing Firm of the Year. Don was a Founding Principal of Andor Capital Management where he was Head of Sales, Marketing, and Client Service and was a member of the firm’s operating committee. When he left Andor, the firm ranked as the 2nd largest hedge fund firm in the world. Previous to Andor, Don was a Managing Director and Head of Institutional Sales for Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (now part of Blackrock). At that time MLIM ranked as one of the largest investment managers in the world. Don is a member of the Board of Directors of Help for Children (Hedge Funds Care), Virginia Home for Boys and Girls Foundation and the Child Savers Foundation. In addition he is a former 2 term Board of Directors member of the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business, The Science Museum of Virginia Endowment Fund, The Richmond Ballet (The State Ballet of Virginia), Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, The Hedge Fund Association and the Richmond Sports Backers. He also served over a decade on the Investment Committee for The City of Richmond Retirement System.

Richard Taglianetti
Richard Taglianetti, managing director, alternative investments, Corinthian Partners
Richard works with Corinthian Partners, a NY based broker dealer/ investment bank specializing in hedge funds. He runs the alternative investment practice. They raise money for and/ or introduce strategic partners to hedge fund managers at any stage of their lives. Investors are funds of funds, family offices, multi strategy funds and high net worth on both sides of the Atlantic. Prior to joining Corinthian in 2001, Richard built and managed a bond futures sales/ trading desk at Prudential Securities since 1988.