Millionaire hedge-fund owner closes shop to explore run for governor

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Donald J. Trump and Barack Obama share one thing in common — they have encouraged people to believe there is a legit opportunity to be elected to high office without having a history of governing.

According to Reuters, hedge-fund manager David Stemerman is exploring a run for governor of Connecticut.

Citing a letter sent to clients of his hedge-fund firm, Conatus Capital Management LP, the report says he is winding down his business in anticipation of the venture into politics.

On Tuesday, according to the report, Stemerman wrote in the note:

“Connecticut – home to my family and business – is in crisis. I believe that too many of our leaders do not understand the challenges we face, nor do they have a strategy for the path forward. 

“I am deeply concerned that a small number of people in our state are thriving while many are struggling to make ends meet.

“I do not claim to have all of the answers, but as an outsider with a fresh perspective, I believe that I can bring a different approach to finding solutions and that a new approach is necessary to lead Connecticut to a better future.”

Stemerman, a 48-year-old Republican, runs his hedge fund out of Greenwich, Conn. The $1.6 billion firm will be shut down at the end of the year to allow him to run for governor of Connecticut. Conatus Capital Management LP has gained 18.3% after fees so far this year, outdoing the 8.3% average return for the period by stock hedge funds, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The next Connecticut election for governor will be held in November 2018. According to local reports, Stemerman would enter a crowded field of candidates on both sides of the aisle. The current Governor, Dannel P. Malloy (D), is not seeking a third term. President Trump spoke out against Malloy at a rally during the 2016 presidential campaign (see video below).

Stemerman would be entering politics for the first time ever with this bid for the governorship, although he has been involved in local politics through donations to the state Republican Party and GOP candidates, according to the State Elections Enforcement Commission. He even supported candidates opposing Malloy in 2010 and 2014.

According to reports, Independent voters make up the largest voting bloc in Connecticut.

In the letter, Stemerman also reportedly said he would be giving Conatus consumer industry head Amir Mokari startup money to plan a new fund.

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