Hedge Fund Confidential

When the most secretive traders gather, the cocktail talk could be worth billions

Who are these people? The art- and yacht-buying escapades of hedge fund operators such as Kenneth Griffin of Citadel and Eddie Lampert of ESL Investments grab the headlines. Yet there are more than 9,500 funds managing upwards of $1.74 trillion in assets, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research, Inc. Many of those funds individually run a mere billion or three. This group of hedgies tend to be secretive loners, not prone to trading recipes.

A rare exception is the semiannual ritual staged by Drobny Global Advisors, a boutique research firm based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., run by two guys named Drobny--Andres...

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