Comedic relief with hedge fund humour

Globe and Mail – Hedge-fund manager Ben Shoval, wearing a green Thomas Pink shirt and a $1,600 Giorgio Armani suit, grabbed the microphone last week at New York’s Broadway Comedy Club to riff on his day job.

The 31-year-old hedge fund manager started his stand-up career in January, taking as many as a dozen private and group lessons a month that have cost about $3,500, he says. By humbling himself before small groups at open-mike shows, Mr. Shoval said he hopes he’ll learn to perform at conferences and charity events.

Hedge fund managers may need comic relief. The industry is composed of unregulated investment pools that typically charge 2 per cent in fees and reap 20 per cent of profits. Hedge funds suffered their worst first-half performance in almost two decades, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc.

"When things are bad, particularly like they are now, we seem to be a good scapegoat for absolutely everything," Mr. Shoval said. "That’s what’s neat about the whole hedge fund manager routine that I’m doing, because there are so many misunderstandings."

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