ABSOLUTE Advisers

Philosophy

Our philosophy centers on the belief that long-term risk-adjusted performance is best achieved by utilizing independent money managers whose strategies focus on preservation of capital and asymmetric return opportunities.

 With the Absolute Funds, we provide access to highly-skilled managers who thoughtfully vary their exposures over time and offer diverse return profiles. These strategies are managed and monitored in a transparent, daily-valued structure.

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History

Absolute Investment Advisers was founded in 2004 to help investors diversify and manage risk within their portfolios. The founders’ previous experiences in hedge funds, mutual funds and the high net worth advisory business led to the launch of one of the industry’s first hedged mutual funds in 2005. For over fifteen years Absolute has provided investors access to unique managers who are benchmark agnostic and absolute return focused.  As a pioneer in the “liquid alternative” mutual fund space, Absolute continues to breakdown the barriers between investors and illiquid, opaque hedge fund structures.

Since its inception, Absolute Investment Advisers has remained disciplined about sourcing alpha generating strategies with active risk management. Markets will continue to go up and down over time and investors can easily access those market returns through passive, index-oriented investments.  Absolute seeks to provide more and give investors access to something different.

Leadership Team

MANAGEMENT

Brian Hlidek

Managing Principal,
Sales and Marketing

Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Hlidek was a Vice President and financial advisor at a family owned, New England-based firm. Additionally, he spent 5 years at 2 other financial services firms as an advisor.

Mr. Hlidek received his BA degree from Denison University. He has the Series 7, 26, 63 and 65 securities registrations.

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Jay Compson

Managing Principal,
Chief Investment Officer

Mr. Compson is the Portfolio Manager for the Funds and is responsible for manager selection and overall portfolio construction, allocation, and monitoring of the Funds’ assets.

Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Compson was a Portfolio Manager and Partner at Abington Capital LP, a Boston-based hedge fund. He also spent several years in corporate risk management roles at two investment banks – Lehman Brothers and Tucker Anthony Sutro. Mr. Compson received his BA from Franklin & Marshall College and his MBA in Finance and Management from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

    PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

Eric Hage

Portfolio Manager (ARBIX)

Prior to joining Absolute in 2021, Eric was a founding partner of Mohican Financial Management, a convertible arbitrage hedge fund which started in 2002, where he served as CIO and co-Portfolio Manager for 19 years. Before starting Mohican Financial Management, Eric was Director of Convertible Arbitrage Accounts at Citigroup where he was responsible for covering major hedge funds.  Previous to covering accounts, Eric worked as an Institutional Trader in Convertible Securities for Salomon Smith Barney where he made institutional markets in all types of US convertible securities while running a large proprietary trading book. He also spent part of his career at Bear Stearns as Co-Head of Sales in Convertible Securities focusing on long only convertible investors. 

Eric was awarded an MBA in Finance & International Economics by Columbia Business School and a BS in Agricultural Economics by Cornell University.

Daniel Hage

Portfolio Manager (ARBIX)

Prior to joining Absolute in 2021, Daniel was a co-founding partner of Mohican Financial Management LLC, where he served as COO and co-Portfolio Manager for 19 years.  During this time, Mohican managed assets in the convertible arbitrage space in both a hedge fund and mutual fund format.  Daniel began his career on Wall Street as a bond broker at Murphy & Durieu and Fahnestock before becoming VP-Convertible Bond Sales at CIBC World Markets. 

Daniel received his BS from LeMoyne College and his MBA in Finance from the University at Albany.

Marc Abizaid

Credit-Analyst (ARBIX)

Prior to Joining Absolute in 2021, Marc served 17 years as the credit analyst for Mohican Financial Management. Marc draws on his decades of executive-level corporate finance experience to analyze and assess the creditworthiness of convertible issuers.  Previously Marc was a partner at Tailwind Consulting, CEO of Consolidated Steel and CFO of SevenUp Bottling in Lebanon.

Marc received his BS from Cornell University.

Nathan Houser

Principal, Analyst

Mr. Houser is responsible for new manager research and due diligence analytics. He also assists the portfolio manager with the day-to-day management of the Funds, including portfolio monitoring, risk measurement and operations.

Mr. Houser joined Absolute after serving for eight years as a Research Analyst for Shetland Investments, a Boston area family office. At Shetland he was responsible for sourcing and evaluating alternative investments including researching new strategies and allocation modeling. Mr. Houser received his AB from Bowdoin College.

         SALES & MARKETING

Chris Ward

Principal,
Sales and Marketing

Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Ward held positions at JPMorgan INVEST, Brown & Company and the Banking and Investment Products Group of FleetBoston Financial.  In his business consulting roles. Mr. Ward focused on information architecture and user interface projects to develop and/or improve the usability of on-line trading platforms and back-end customer service systems.  Before his shift toward financial services, Mr. Ward worked at several advertising, marketing, media production and communications agencies in the Boston and in Washington DC. metropolitan areas.

Mr. Ward received his BA from Colby College.  He has the Series 6, 63 and 65 securities registrations.

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Whit Wannamaker

Principal,
Sales and Marketing

Mr. Wannamaker joined Absolute Investment Advisers in 2006.  Prior to that, he served as a Director at Credit Suisse, responsible for new business development and client servicing for retail products in the US. Mr. Wannamaker has also held positions at Worldwide Index Funds, Sierra Investment Services, Kemper Financial Services, Financial Institutions Investment Services and US Central Credit Union.

Mr. Wannamaker earned a BBA from the University of Wisconsin.  He has the Series 7 and 24 securities registrations.

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Janielle Lucas

Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Prior to joining Absolute in 2021, Ms. Lucas was Managing Director at Wavelength Capital Management where she designed the sales and marketing systems that launched the firm through the first years of rapid growth. She was pivotal in guiding the Wavelength team in business development and adviser relationship management throughout her time there. Ms. Lucas also held a prior position at Schooner Funds as the National Relationship Manager where she spent the first 8 years of her career, and supported the firm from the ground floor in 2009 to almost a billion in AUM in 2016. After graduating from Rowan University in 2006, she owned and operated her own marketing firm named after her Grandfather- SJM Promotions. In her spare time, Ms. Lucas is the owner of a Members Only Hot Yoga Studio in Center City, Philadelphia.  Ms. Lucas has the Series 6 and 63 securities registrations.

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        LEGAL & OPERATIONS

David Faherty

Principal, General Counsel and
Chief Compliance Officer

Mr. Faherty joined Absolute in 2014, and is responsible for all legal, compliance, and regulatory matters for the firm. Before being promoted to General Counsel and CCO, Mr. Faherty spent several years as Senior Counsel responsible for providing legal services related to the management and administration of the Funds and assisting with the firm’s legal, compliance, and regulatory matters.

Prior to joining Absolute, Mr. Faherty served as Senior Counsel at Atlantic Fund Services, Vice President and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer at Forum Funds, Vice President of Citi Fund Services Ohio, Inc. and Associate Counsel at Investors Bank & Trust Company.

Mr. Faherty received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD/MBA from Suffolk University’s School of Law and Sawyer School of Management.

Neil Kristian

Principal, Chief Operations Officer

Mr. Kristian manages on-site back-office operations of the Funds as well as the daily operations of Absolute Investment Advisers. He also manages the sub-adviser and fund administration relationships and, under the CCO, is responsible for portfolio compliance monitoring and testing.

Prior to joining Absolute, Mr. Kristian spent seven years as the Director of Operations at Abington Capital, a Boston-based hedge fund, for seven years. Prior roles include working on the equity trading desk at Lehman Brothers, institutional sales with Funds Distributors, and numerous operations roles with The Boston Company and Scudder Service Corp.Mr. Kristian received his BS from Babson College.

Rebecca Gardner-Johnson

Vice-President, Operations

Prior to Joining Absolute in 2021, Rebecca started off her career 17 years ago as the Operations Manager for Mohican Financial Management. In 2018, Rebecca took over as Chief Compliance Officer for Mohican. She comes to Absolute in experience in back office operations and compliance implementation.

Rebecca received her BS from Syracuse University

Beth Compson

Business Operations

Mrs. Compson manages all aspects of Absolute Investment Advisers’ accounting, including budgeting, forecasting, planning, and record-keeping. Prior to joining Absolute, Mrs. Compson was a Senior Auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co, Vice President of Finance for the American Heart Association, Vice President at Citibank and held other financial roles at Fischer Francis Trees & Watts and ING Barings.

Mrs. Compson received her BA from Boston College and an MBA in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University. She is a former CPA and has held the Series 7 and 63 securities registrations.