||Reshma Saujani (Photo:
Reshma Saujani built her career representing hedge funds as
an elite financial lawyer. Now she hopes to apply those skills
to help average New Yorkers.
Saujani launched her campaign to be New York City Public
Advocate on April 23 using a populist tone. "I'm running for
this office because New York deserves a Public Advocate who
isn't just another politician, but a leader who advocates,
delivers and gets things done for New Yorkers,"
said Saujani, a 37-year-old Democrat who ran unsuccessfully
for U.S. Congress in 2010. "We need a voice loud enough to
speak for everyone, driving the change we need to create
good-paying jobs, give our kids the education they need for the
jobs of today and tomorrow, and make sure all New Yorkers have
access to safe, affordable housing."
Before entering politics in 2009, Yale Law-graduate Saujani
spent several years in the hedge fund industry. After a
stint at law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, she worked from
2005 to 2006 as chief operating officer of Carret Asset
Carret Global India Fund, a fund of hedge funds. From 2006
to 2008, she was assistant general counsel at multistrategy
hedge fund Carlyle-Blue Wave Partners, which
liquidated in July 2008. And from 2008 to 2009, she was
deputy general counsel and chief operating officer for liquid
markets at now-$54 billion Fortress Investment Group, which
runs several credit and macro hedge funds.
campaign biography downplays her hedge fund experience. "As
a lawyer in the financial services sector, Reshma sent money
home to her parents every month to help them pay their
mortgage, and became increasingly active in Democratic
politics, supporting female candidates and engaging communities
in the political process who had for too long been excluded,"
it reads, making no mention of Saujani's former firms and
emphasizing the $200,000 student loan debt she needed to pay
Saujani--who more recently was
the city's Deputy Public Advocate and the founder of nonprofit
Girls Who Code--still has hedge fund supporters.
Donors to her new campaign,
public records, include Peter Rajsingh of Castellar
Partners, Sri Wijegoonaratna of Discovery Capital Management,
Sumana Setty of Galle Global Macro Partners, Marc Friedman from
Gracie Asset Management, Seema Hingoran of New York City's
public pension plan, Craig Effron and Curtis Schenker of
Scoggin Capital Management, and Salman Khan of Silver Point
In 2010, Saujani lost her congressional race to longtime
U.S. Representative from New York Carolyn Maloney. Her
supporters then included Marc and Cathy Lasry, who hosted
a fundraiser that
raised nearly $100,000. She also received donations from
Anthony Davis of Anchorage Advisors, Peter Briger and Michael
Novogratz of Fortress, and Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment
Saujani embraced her time on Wall Street during that
campaign. "[I'm] running on my Wall Street record, not from
it," she told
The New York Times in January 2010.