The primary objectives of the Texas Hedge Fund Association (THFA) are to (i) promote the understanding of the hedge fund industry and dialogue between the regional members of the investment community, through education and communication, and (ii) encourage the maintenance of industry standards and professionalism in order to further enhance the growth of the industry.
Who We Are:
The THFA is a U.S.- based association of Hedge Fund industry participants and other interested parties. The THFA is a regional trade association that represents the hedge fund industry throughout the state of Texas and surrounding states.
The THFA membership is composed primarily of hedge fund managers and investment advisers, high net worth investors, institutional investors (pension funds, foundations, banks), fund of funds and industry service providers such as administrators, auditors and accountants, attorneys, third party marketers and others.
The THFA is governed by a board of directors. The board appoints an executive director and committee chairpersons in order to carry out most of the day to day operations and functions of the THFA.
Board of Directors:
Heather E. Gilker (Chairman of the Board)
Ms. Gilker is vice president, Business Development for Fidelity Family Office Services (FFOS), a Fidelity Investments company and provider of custody, brokerage, investment and reporting services to family offices. Fidelity Investments is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions and financial intermediaries. She is responsible for leading FFOS’ Southwest region.
Prior to joining Fidelity Investments in her current role, Ms. Gilker was president of GSG Capital Advisors, LLC, a strategic consulting firm that provides due diligence and capital raising, infrastructure build-out and business development for alternatives managers. Previously during her career, Ms. Gilker served on the Investment Committees and acted as director of research for hedge fund-of-fund portfolios for Carlson Capital, L.P. and Rainbow Trading Corporation, in addition to serving on the Investment Committee for Ranger Advisors, L.P. She also founded and ran Opus Advisors, L.P., an early-to-middle stage information technology fund, and served as an equities analyst for Stockbridge Partners/Feshbach Brothers. She began her career at Bank of America.
Ms. Gilker received her undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University. She is a member of AIMR and the Dallas Association of Investment Analysts, 100 Women in Hedge Funds and Texas Wall Street Women, where she is a Senior Advisor. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Great Investors’ Best Ideas Foundation Investment Symposium, and is a member of the Governance Board of the Member to the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science, where she chairs the Investment Committee and serves on the Finance Committee.
J. Keith Benedict
Mr. Benedict is the Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel and a member of the Investment Committee of A. G. Hill Partners, LLC, a Dallas-based family office.
Prior to joining A. G. Hill Partners, Mr. Benedict was Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Opsis Capital Management LP, a firm engaged in trading energy equities in a market-neutral portfolio format. Previously, Mr. Benedict was the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of an affiliate of the Lamar Hunt family office. Mr. Benedict began his career practicing corporate and securities law with Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.
Mr. Benedict received a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Mr. Braxton is theAssociate Director of Marketing of Crestline Investors, a Fort Worth-based hedge fund manager. Mr. Braxton joined Crestline Investors in 2009.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Braxton was the Co-Lead of the Fund of Funds Due Diligence Team at Merrill Lynch. During his tenure at Merrill Lynch, Mr. Braxton was responsible for internal and external capital raising efforts for both hedge funds and hedge fund of funds. Additionally, he was responsible for selling Merrill Lynch distribution capabilities and analyzing, sourcing and negotiating with potential hedge fund and hedge fund of fund partners.
Mr. Braxton is a graduate of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where he received his B.B.A in Finance and The Wharton School of Business where he received a M.B.A, with a dual major in Finance and entrepreneurship
Steven W. Caple
Mr. Caple serves as the President of Unity Hunt, Inc. Unity Hunt is the vehicle through which the Lamar Hunt family manages its investments and holdings. Mr. Caple focuses on strategic direction, and he oversees Unity Hunt’s operating, legal, finance, accounting and tax functions.
Prior to joining Unity Hunt, Mr. Caple was the President of VFT Capital, LP, which provides seed capital, marketing assistance and operational support to hedge fund managers. While at VFT, Mr. Caple was responsible for planning and carrying-out its long-term initiatives, and he directed its investment, operating, legal, compliance, finance and accounting efforts.
Before VFT, Mr. Caple was the President of Novo Networks, Inc. (now known as Berliner Communications, Inc.), a publicly traded telecommunications company, where he had previously served as its Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. While at Novo, Mr. Caple set its strategic direction, managed its personnel and supervised its operations, SEC reporting and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Novo, Mr. Caple held senior legal and management positions with GTE Corporation (now known as Verizon Communications, Inc.), Chancellor Media Corporation (now known as Clear Channel Communications, Inc.) and Marcus Cable, LP (now known as Charter Communications, Inc.). Before Marcus, Mr. Caple practiced law with the firm of Patton, Haltom, Roberts, McWilliams & Greer, LLP.
Mr. Caple received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, cum laude, from the University of Arkansas. During law school, Mr. Caple served as the Managing Editor of the Arkansas Law Review.
Mr. Caple is a member of the Hedge Fund Business Operations Association, and he serves on the host committee for the Great Investors’ Best Ideas Foundation Investment Symposium. Mr. Caple also sits on the steering committee of GC Netweavers, a networking organization for corporate legal officers, and he is active in the Association of Corporate Counsel, American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Arkansas Bar Association and Dallas Bar Association.
Ms. Duensing is General Counsel for the Saracen Group of Companies. The Saracen Group is a network of affiliated entities involved in physical and financial trading in energy commodities and energy equity and debt instruments with broad coverage across North American energy markets. As head of Saracen’s legal group, Ms. Duensing is responsible for the legal aspects of Saracen’s activities and initiatives, including investor relations, regulatory, corporate, human resources and compliance matters, and investment and transaction documentation.
Prior to joining Saracen, Ms. Duensing was an associate with the Dallas office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where her practice focused on the representation of investment and private equity funds. Ms. Duensing is a member of Texas Wall Street Women and was named a 2009 finalist for the Houston Business Journal’s Best Corporate Counsel Awards. Ms. Duensing received her bachelors’ degrees from the University of Illinois and her JD from the Duke University School of Law.
Doug J. Jegi
Doug J. Jegi is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for CrossCap Management Inc. Mr. Jegi is responsible for all operating, compliance, marketing and client service functions for the firm. CrossCap is based in Houston, Texas and is the investment manager of two long/short equity funds, CrossCap Partners, LP and CrossCap Partners Enhanced LP.
Prior to joining CrossCap, Mr. Jegi served as the Director of Client Services for Episteme Capital Management. Previously, Mr. Jegi served as a Senior Analyst for Veras Investment Partners where he was instrumental in building the operational structure for a billion dollar hedge fund organization. Prior to Veras, Mr. Jegi served as an Analyst for TranSierra Capital Management.
Mr. Jegi received a BS in International Business from San Francisco State University and a Masters in Business from The University of San Francisco.
Mr. Pilibosian co-founded of Condera Advisors, LLC (f/k/a “Redstone Asset Management, L.P.”) in 2003 when he began managing portfolios of hedge funds with the launch of Condera’s first fund of funds. Condera is a boutique Houston-based advisory firm that provides investment advice to high net worth and institutional clients within an open investment architecture, emphasizing the use of alternative investments in an attempt to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns. In addition to customized managed accounts of hedge funds, Condera also manages two funds of hedge funds pursuing absolute return and relative return investment objectives by investing with a diverse group of alternative investment managers. Mr. Pilibosian serves as the firm’s President and Chief Investment Officer.
Before co-founding Condera, Mr. Pilibosian had been with the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York as well as Mayer Brown LLP in Houston, Texas. During his legal career, Mr. Pilibosian had been actively involved in the structuring and creation of, and advising clients with respect to investing in, hedge funds, private equity funds and other alternative investment products, including several large investment banks and one of the largest European pension funds. Additionally, Mr. Pilibosian specialized in the areas of corporate bankruptcy, mergers and acquisitions and general securities law, counseling institutions across the world in these areas. Mr. Pilibosian received his B.A., cum laude, from Vanderbilt University, his JD, summa cum laude, from Tulane Law School, and his MBA, Beta Gamma Sigma, from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. Mr. Pilibosian is an occasional speaker at hedge fund symposiums and seminars.
Dale West, CFA
Dale West is the Director of External Public Markets at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, a $90 billion pension system serving 1.2 million active and retired educators and their families. Mr. West's team oversees the Trust's $3.5 billion hedge portfolio and over $12 billion in externally managed traditional equity and fixed-income assets. TRS has been an investor in hedge funds since 2001.
Prior to joining TRS, Mr. West was based in London with the emerging markets equity team of T. Rowe Price International, where he covered telecoms and emerging markets. He also served in U.S. foreign service, including a three-year posting to the American embassy in Bucharest, Romania.
Mr. West received an MBA from Stanford University, and is a 1991 graduate of the Universty of Texas at Austin the Plan II Liberal Arts Honors Program.
Barry Y. Greenberg
Barry Y. Greenberg is General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Swank Capital, LLC and its wholly-owned investment advisory subsidiary, Cushing MLP Asset Management, LP. His responsibilities include managing the firm’s comprehensive compliance program and advising senior management regarding legal issues and regulatory developments.
Prior to joining Swank Capital, Mr. Greenberg served as a partner in the investment funds group of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Dallas for five years. In this role, he advised private and offshore funds, mutual funds and investment advisers on a wide range of issues, including entity formation, governance and regulatory compliance matters. From 1995 through 2005, Mr. Greenberg served as vice president, legal, compliance and administration of American Beacon Advisors, Inc., a registered investment adviser and mutual fund sponsor. Mr. Greenberg began his legal career in the Fort Worth district office of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1988. He served for seven years in the Enforcement Division as an enforcement attorney and branch chief, managing investigations of matters involving violations of investment adviser, investment company, broker-dealer and general corporate securities regulations.
Mr. Greenberg received his J.D. cum laude from Tulane Law School and his B.A. from Emory University. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas.
Kumar Venkataraman is the James M. Collins Chair in Finance and the Academic Director of the ENCAP Investments & LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He has a Ph.D. in Finance from Arizona State University.
Venkataraman specializes in the area of market microstructure and writes about financialmarket design; evaluation of trading strategies; and functioning of equity,debt and commodity markets. He has presented his research at universities, Wall Street firms, academic conferences and regulatory bodies and published his work in major international financial and economics journals including the Journal of Finance. His work has been featured in industry publications, such as The CFA Digest, in text books, and in business press, including Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Financial Times, Economist and Bloomberg News. He is currently involved with major consulting projects sponsored by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Dr. Venkataraman teaches courses in the area of investments and has received the Outstanding Teaching Award in the Cox MBA and COX BBA programs on numerous occasions. He has been named among “The Best 40 B-School Profs Under the Age of 40” in the 2011 Poets & Quants ranking of Business School professors.
Steven J. Menna
Membership Committee: Doug Jegi (Chairman), Bill Braxton
Events Committee: Shea Davis (Chairman)
Public Relations Committee: Allison Duensing (Chairman), Ashleigh Johnson