Ron Viener — Partner, Investments
The big trend in Borough Park, Brooklyn in the early eighties was Formica bunk beds. My father, who moved my family to the U.S. from Israel in 1980, worked several jobs until he could afford to open a furniture store on New Utrecht Avenue to capitalize on the boom and his skills as a carpenter. While my father carved out his niche in the furniture industry, my mother worked as a nursery school teacher part-time while raising my two sisters and me. My parents’ hunt for the American dream defines who I am today. They took a shot at a new life, working hard to build and strengthen our family through determination and perseverance in order to open doors for all of us. While it was finance instead of Formica that captured my imagination, my father’s example pushed me to attain my goals no matter the obstacle.
After completing my undergraduate degree at SUNY Albany in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance, I was eager to start working on Wall Street. I interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the tax department, and then took my first position in the Bear Stearns accounting rotation program, which gave me exposure to the various accounting functions of a financial services firm. After completing the program, I settled in the Equity Derivatives Accounting group and became fascinated with the stock market, enjoying as much time as possible on the trading floor. It was there that I discovered my passion for trading.
I decided that in order to achieve my goals I needed more education, more connections, and, like my father, just one big break. I attended the NYU Langone MBA program at night and, after a strenuous three years, I earned my degree and got my opportunity. I joined the middle office at Tribeca Global Investments, Citigroup’s hedge fund, as an Associate. I dedicated myself to doing the best job possible, and within six months I was asked to join the trading desk as a trader. At last, I achieved my goal of being a trader.
My role as a trader has been dramatically different over my career, but there has been one common objective: how can I provide value to the investment team using the skills honed through my varied experience? At Tribeca, I learned the basics of trading and established my relationships with the sell-side. Next, I was fortunate to move to Millennium Partners with the consumer-focused group from Tribeca. There, in a small team, I learned to work closely with the fundamental analysts and to bridge the gap between company models and market sentiment. Again, I put my head down and worked hard to become a key member of the team. Another door opened for me, and I even took on the duties of a Consumer Staples Analyst, where my claim to fame was calling the great waffle disruption of 2009. When my team at Millennium disbanded I returned to my core roots as a trader for a long/short equity hedge fund, CastleRock Partners.
The opportunity to weave together my experience in operations, research, and trading made me excited to join Daruma, as I am involved in the entire life cycle of a position from initial research to final sale. As Daruma’s eyes and ears on the street, constantly filtering out relevant signals from an increasingly noisy market, I am able to have the investment team’s back at all times. Being so deeply integrated into the research process and serving as the nexus between the investment and operational sides of the business, I can actively contribute every day to Daruma’s long-term success.