“I’m drawn to racing and investing out of a desire to excel in challenging environments and to control my own destiny”
Christian Zugel enjoys high speeds more than most people. 52-year old hedge fund boss fell in love with cars at an early age and today races on the amateur-motor circuit at track, where he pushes his Porsche Spyder to speeds near 200 miles per hour.
He moves through the financial world at a pretty good clip, too. The former head of high-yield bond trading at JPMorgan, Zugel created Zais Group back in 1997. The asset manager now oversees $6.4 billion from its main office in Red Bank, New Jersey, as well as newer outposts in London and Shanghai. His $418 million Zais Opportunity Fund, which buys portions of collateralized-loan obligations, also has taken the winner’s checkered flag in Barron’s annual ranking of the Top 100 Hedge Funds. The fund returned an average of 78.5% annually to its investors in the three years ending 2011.
“I’m drawn to racing and investing out of a desire to excel in challenging environments and to control my own destiny,” says Zugel, who holds a masters degree in economics from the University of Mannheim in Germany. “Both require discipline and consistency, and keen understanding of acceleration and break points.”
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