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March 04, 2020  

Chalkstream's Tsai Switches Over to PDT

Continuing his longstanding ties with quantitative-investment guru Peter Muller, Chalkstream Capital chief investment officer Andrew Tsai is stepping down to work at PDT Partners.

The two men formed Chalkstream in 2003 as a family office for Muller, who at the time led the now-independent PDT as a unit of Morgan Stanley. Soon after, Tsai helped New York-based Chalkstream evolve into a commingled fund operator pursuing a range of investments. Muller has been serving as a nonmanaging partner at Chalkstream while continuing to lead PDT.

In his new assignment, Tsai is assuming an undisclosed role as a managing director at the equity-focused PDT. “Since the beginning of Chalkstream, [Muller] and I have always discussed ways for us to work even more closely together,” Tsai wrote in a Feb. 20 letter to Chalkstream’s investors.

Tsai added that Muller had begun seeking a senior manager with the exit of PDT chief operating officer Amy Wong last year. Tsai, formerly of Integrity Capital and Lehman Brothers, will continue his involvement with Chalkstream as chairman of the fund manager’s advisory board.

Chalkstream head researcher Rishi Shah, meanwhile, has moved into the chief investment officer role at that firm. Shah, who joined Chalkstream in 2006 from Starwood Capital, is credited with helping to transform the firm’s portfolio from a collection of allocations to hedge fund managers with broad mandates to a concentrated mix of exposures to niche strategies — some run in-house and others by outside operators.

Shah played a key role in expanding into equities and debt in Japan and Korea, for example, and helped lead seed-capital investments in Eversept Partners and Oberland Capital.

Along with the promotion of Shah, Chalkstream chief financial officer Ron Rosenstraus has added the title of chief operating officer. He came on board in 2009 from Strategic Value Partners.

Chalkstream had $543 million under management at the beginning of 2019. The firm went on to produce a 15.2% gain for the year, giving it an annualized profit of 4.9% since 2004.

PDT was running $11.5 billion of gross assets at yearend 2018. Muller founded the operation in 1993 as a proprietary trading unit of Morgan Stanley, routinely racking up annual gains exceeding 20%. He spun off PDT from the bank in 2013.