Timothy R. Barakett played hockey at Harvard and was so good on the ice (he scored 79 goals his senior year), that he was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 1986. He refused the offer and opted to go to Harvard Business School instead. After getting experience at the merger arbitrage fund Junction Advisors in the early ’90s, he established Atticus Capital in 1995. He teamed up with Nathaniel Rothschild, a descendant of the legendary moneyed family and the man lined up to be the fifth Baron Rothschild.
Although the fund struggled in the early 2000’s—it was down 10 percent in 2002—it later made a fortune with investments in the financial services sector. Timothy R. Barakett has since developed into one of Wall Street’s most respected hedge fund managers and the firm’s successes have helped swell its coffers: Although Atticus managed some $2 billion in the early 2000’s, by 2007 it had some $16 billion under management. (The firm stopped accepting new investors in 2006.) In 2007, Atticus’s two funds returned 25 and 28 percent due to bets on Freeport-McMoran and MasterCard. Barakett oversees Atticus’s New York office while Rothschild manages the firm’s presence in London.