Teenager out to mark territory in hedge fund space; AUM: low thousands, but growing

From the WSJ weekend edition (In case you miss it, Brandon Conley is 14): 

pt-af735_cover__20070622165516.jpgBrandon Conley opens his weekly Wednesday 7:30 a.m. conference call with a briefing of news items affecting the portfolio of his fund, Mariner Investment Advisers.

Listening in on the call are his investment analysts, 17-year-old David White-Goode and 13-year-old Jeremy Hitotsubashi. Brandon himself is 14. David, who covers the defense and aeronautics industry, gives an update on Northrop Grumman, emphasizing its strong position as a shipbuilder. His recommendation: A buy.

Along with semiweekly conference calls, Brandon holds weekly meetings, often at Starbucks after chess class on Fridays, to discuss investing strategy with his three employees. None of them have been paid yet, but Brandon plans on paying each of them a percentage of profits, plus bonuses based on their research. He also plans on adding staff. “
I will probably take a couple more employees to specifically handle trading and an IT manager,” says Brandon. “Right now, I do all the trading.”

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Hiring at Google, the process that doesn’t involve marrying one of the founders

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Apropos of Mr. Jeff Barr’s experience with Google, I too found Google rather GPA-centric. I was directed to a position in their advertising department by a friend for an entry-level AdWords position. A day later I was contacted by the recruiter and followed that up with a phone interview (presumably to make sure I wasn’t a weirdo/psycho/anti-“fun!” person)…

Soon after this recruiter sent me a TEST to take which had about 20 questions about ads, how I’d correct the ads, what I would change to make the ads better…keywords…information that you will need to teach me if you hire me. Lame. Despite the annoyance, I completed the test and sent it off to the recruiter. About 4 days later she contacted me again to arrange on campus interviews. Sweet I thought, surely I do on campus interviews and then I find out… 

So I head on down to Mountain View’s campus to meet with five different interviewers each for about 20 or so minutes, and then, after all that, I take another test…Well gee, that wasn’t terrible, I sure can’t wait to hear back about whether or not I got the position —-  NOPE….I get contacted by the recruiter again to ask me for all my transcripts, my SAT scores, my favorite color, blood type. And there lies the rub…I had the terrible eyesore of a C or so on one less than stellar SINGLE semester…Google didn’t like that…     I get a call from the recruiter saying “we love you, all the interviewers said how great you are…but we need to you to come back and meet with one more” —

Me: After I meet this final person, will a decision be made?
Them: I can’t really say…   

I sighed and was getting very annoyed…this process was dragging out close to two months….but I went down, met with this other interviewer, the total round trip drive time was 2 1/2 hours….interview lasted for 20 min. The guy “loved me” and was usually really “tough on candidates, but really liked you,” according to the interviewer.  Read the rest of this entry »