An Ecosystem of Experts Who Advise Top Hedge Funds

Ari Bergman acts as a consultant to pensions, endowments, and hedge funds, often through under-the-radar arrangements. As the Wall Street Journal describes it, Bergmann “is part of a larger ecosystem of consultants who sell their investment beliefs to hedge funds. The funds, hungry for returns or cheap hedges for their portfolios, get fresh ideas that comprise or inform their wagers.” Consultants receive a share of gains resulting from their ideas, as Bergmann does, or charge flat fees. Some consultant recommendations have led to significant losses, but others have been quite profitable. Bergmann, it seems, “is one of few to have assembled [] a select roster of clients,” including former clients including Dan Loeb’s Third Point LLC and Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital (now Point72 Asset Management).  Some do not approve of using consultants. Chuck Bryceland of Bessemer Trust says, “If your manager’s renting a lot of ideas, you have to question the value-added they bring to the partnership.”  Jane Buchan of Paamco says “The big risk to these things is they can be a one-hit wonder,” meaning that it is hard to gauge the quality of a manager when the manager is buying ideas from outside consultants