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June 12, 2019  

Former Koch Investment Pros Set to Launch

Three portfolio managers who previously worked together in Koch Industries’ investment-management division are starting a hedge fund with backing from their former employer.

Daniel Nesbitt, Thong Nguyen and Utkarsh Samant already have received investor commitments totaling $200 million for a fund they plan to launch from their Greenwich, Conn., firm, Keebeck Alpha. Word has it that Koch will contribute a good chunk of the day-one capital.

The partners are setting up a multi-strategy hedge fund that would target global equities and futures, among other markets. Exactly when they plan to begin trading is unclear. Nesbitt is working in Wichita, Kan., while Nguyen and Samant are in Greenwich.

Until earlier this year, the three worked together at Spring Creek Capital, a Greenwood, Wis., operation that invests the massive cash reserves of Koch Industries. The privately held conglomerate, led by brothers Charles Koch and David Koch, generated $110 billion of revenue last year.

Nesbitt joined Spring Creek as an analyst in 2011, and was promoted to portfolio manager in 2014. Nguyen and Samant arrived in 2016.

Prior to Spring Creek, Samant co-founded proprietary-trading shop Statistical Alpha Fund Management. He earlier worked at multi-strategy fund shop Verition Fund Management, where for a period he ran a statistical-arbitrage portfolio with Nguyen.