- Her investment firm SurgoCap Partners began trading on Jan. 3, and “became a huge hit with $1.8 billion trading under management.”
An Indian American businesswoman and co-portfolio manager has created history by overseeing the biggest-ever launch of a hedge fund headed by a woman. Mala Gaonkar, founder of the investment firm SurgoCap Partners began trading on Jan. 3, and “became a huge hit with $1.8 billion trading under management,” Bloomberg reported.
SurgoCap is “an investment firm focused on the long-term and disruptive impacts of technology innovation across broad areas of the global markets,” according to its website. The firm, with about 20 employees, “will bet on and against stocks and can invest as much as a quarter of its assets in private companies,” the Bloomberg report added, quoting people familiar with the launch.
The U.S.-born and Bangalore-raised Gaonkar founded SurgoCap Partners in 2022. Before that she was a founding partner of Lone Pine Capital, and served as a portfolio manager for the firm’s technology, media, internet and telecommunications exposure, says her profile on the SurgoCap website. She was also the co-portfolio manager of Lone Pine’s long-only funds.
Before joining Lone Pine, she worked for The Boston Consulting Group, and was also a Kauffman Fellow. She attended Harvard University and Harvard Business School. She is a founding trustee of Ariadne Labs, as well as a trustee of the Tate Foundation, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, and Surgo Ventures, a non-profit organization which uses data-driven solutions to solve health and social problems.
In 2019, she was picked by Steve Mandel as “one of three portfolio managers who would oversee Lone Pine’s assets, which totaled $16.7 billion as of August,” the Bloomberg report said.
Her focus on technology extends to philanthropy as well. In 2015, she co-founded the Surgo Foundation to focus on using artificial intelligence and behavioral science to solve global health problems. Five years later she co-founded the nonprofit Surgo Ventures to further that cause by developing strategic partnerships with other groups. She has also signed the Giving Pledge “to commit the majority of her wealth to philanthropy,” Bloomberg reported.
Gaonkar is a distinguished author as well. She has published short stories in Catamaran, Carolina Quarterly, and American Short Fiction. For this, she was nominated for a Pushcart prize.
Her newest venture, an interactive theater project called Theater of the Mind, which she co-wrote with David Byrne, is running until Jan. 23 at York Street Yards in Denver, Colorado. Shondaland.com describes the project as “an audience participation-heavy exploration of memories told through the point of view of a person coming back to life at their funeral and traveling through time back to childhood in order to get it right.”