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FROM BWS TO THE BIG TIME ON WALL STREET

- JOHN STENSHOLT

I realised I was an entreprene­ur at heart

Rob Hilmer

MEET the little-known young Australian on Wall Street who is managing hundreds of millions of dollars for billionair­es around the world.

Rob Hilmer, 34, has packed plenty into his burgeoning career in the US, having managed to talk his way into trading floor jobs at prestigiou­s New York financial firms such as Royal Bank of Scotland fresh out of the University of Queensland, then helping build a fastgrowin­g tech investment start-up from a living room floor in San Francisco.

After a stint working at prominent US billionair­e Philippe Laffont’s hedge fund helping invest $US30bn ($40.4bn) around the world, Mr Hilmer now runs his own boutique investment firm that

is about to top the $500m funds under management mark about 10 months after he founded it.

“I worked at this big, powerful tech hedge fund and it was awesome (but) I realised I was an entreprene­ur at heart,” he said.

His Goanna Capital – named as a reminder of the home country he left in 2011 – invests in technology startups at the pre-initial public offering stage and is raising $US250m for its second fund after quickly raising $US150m last year for the first fund.

Mr Hilmer now flits between an apartment overlookin­g New York and a house he owns in the snowy hills of Utah – a far cry from when he worked at a BWS bottle shop while studying commerce and law at UQ, dreaming of Manhattan.

“If you told me when I was at BWS in 11 or 12 years this is going to be your life … I would have thought you’d lost your mind,” he said.

As for the future, Mr Hilmer talks about perhaps returning to Australia one day and pursuing a political career. Whatever happens, he says budding entreprene­urs should think about following his unconventi­onal path.

“Sink your teeth in and have a crack,” he said.

 ??  ?? New York-based Australian investor Rob Hilmer’s Goanna Capital is about to top $500m in funds under management.
New York-based Australian investor Rob Hilmer’s Goanna Capital is about to top $500m in funds under management.
 ?? Picture: Andrew Kelly ??
Picture: Andrew Kelly

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