Mala Gaonkar – The Woman in Charge of the Biggest Hedge Fund Launch

With $1.8 billion under management, Mala Gaonkar’s SurgoCap Partners began trading and made history as the largest debut of a woman-led hedge fund in the industry’s history.

SurgoCap Partners invests in technology’s influence on financials, industrials, healthcare, and corporate data. The 20-person company bets on and against equities and can invest 25% of its assets in privately held enterprises.

At an investor conference in June, Gaonkar expressed her support for ServiceNow Inc., an enterprise software provider that aids in workflow automation.

Born in the US and raised in Bengaluru, India, Mala was a Kauffman Fellow. After graduating from Harvard with an MBA and economics degree, she founded Lone Pine in 1998. Later, she managed technology, media, internet, and telecom bets as a portfolio manager. She led the firm’s long-only funds.

She is also a founding trustee of Ariadne Labs, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the Tate Foundation, and Surgo Ventures, a charity that produces data-driven social and health solutions.

She is setting aside $100 million in capacity at SurgoCap for smaller endowments, foundations, and organizations that support marginalized populations or address climate change. She has amassed $35 million thus far.

Mala signed the Giving Pledge that she would devote the majority of her wealth to charitable causes.