The Weekend Post
FROM BWS TO THE BIG TIME ON WALL STREET
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 fast-growing 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
I realised I was an entrepreneur at heart
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 invests in technology start-ups 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.