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Brian Taylor, ’88, hits big with Pine River Capital.

September 09, 2013

Pine River Capital founder Brian Taylor, ’88, made the firm’s inaugural investment in 2002 with $350,000 from his IRA. The fund now ranks among the best-performing hedge portfolios according to Barron’s 2013 list of top 100 hedge funds. 

Pine River—named after the small Minnesota town where the firm began in 2002—focuses on relative valuation rather than trying to forecast the market’s ebb and flow, Taylor said in a July 2013 Minneapolis Star Tribune article. “We generally don’t try to predict the direction of markets.” Instead, fund managers keep an eye out “for things that are mispriced.”

In 2009, when many in the investment industry were struggling to stay afloat, Pine River Capital doubled in size. The hedge fund predicted that mortgage-backed securities would bounce back from the recession and launched Two Harbors, a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT). Silver Bay, a second Pine River REIT, launched in December of 2012.

Other Booth alumni with the firm include Bill Roth, ’81, CIO of Two Harbors; James Clark, ’92, co-chief investment officer; Phil Herman, ’93, portfolio manager; Steve Pigott, ’97, portfolio manager; Scott Reinhart, ’97, portfolio manager; Mary Penning Kelley, ’11, business analyst; Anh Huyn, ’06, director of investor relations, Silver Bay; and Willie Yao, ’08, IT manager. 

Today, Pine River counts $14.3 billion in assets. While in no hurry to relive the darkest days of the market crash, Taylor is confident. “We have a process and structure that aims to make money in all market environments.”—Ally Batty