20 in Their 20s: Douglas Hanly


Douglas Hanly, 29
Company: Emerald Necklace Investments
Title: Chief Investment Officer
Business: Hedge fund
Founded: 2019
Location: Westwood

What led you to start this business?
I wanted to create an investment strategy that was structured simply, where an algorithm pinpoints the best investment opportunities. For five years, I evaluated investment funds on behalf of over $20 billion in aggregate assets under management for leading institutions and family offices. In my meetings with over 1,000 investment managers from around the world, I developed and refined a successful process to form a hedge fund.

How did you fund the business?
Investors were impressed with my returns, my algorithm and most importantly my daily process of how I reached these outcomes. They include a former boss, a former adviser, former co-workers, friends and family. The returns, algorithm and process continue to draw interest and investment.

Are there advantages to starting a business in your 20s?
The biggest advantage to starting a business is learning to stick to your strengths and not do stuff that you are not good at, and turning to others to accomplish what you cannot. Everyone has a strength that they can do well on a consistent basis and several things that they cannot do well.

How has the pandemic affected your business/role and how have you adjusted?
My portfolio, which includes 25 stocks, doubled its value in just over a year. My process for selecting investments is the same. I look at my algorithm, process and outcomes. Now that a reopening of the economy is underway, I am evaluating last year’s winners as well as companies that will benefit from a recovery. For example, companies providing technology to the restaurant industry stand out.

Where are you and your team working?
We speak over Zoom or on the phone. We are making plans to meet in person, but the bulk of our interactions will be remote going forward. There will be some one-on-one meetings once we are all fully vaccinated. I think what we do is very flexible, and it won’t change how we interact.

Where do you go for advice regarding your business?
The best advice revolves around improving my daily process. The better my process, the better my outcomes. For this, I turn to the advisory board and a team of mentors.  

Where do you go for professional services such as legal help, accounting, etc.?
We partner with a best-in-class team of service providers including legal, accounting, fund administration and brokerage services.

Does social responsibility play a role in your business?
We exclude companies that show red flags related to their environmental, social and governance practices.

Do you feel that your business is particularly tailored to the Los Angeles market?
Los Angeles is home to several strong fixed-income funds, so we stand out by being an equity fund. I see myself living in Los Angeles and continuing to expand into the community.

What do you do for fun?
I enjoy hiking in Malibu or Topanga with friends. I have played soccer through college and coached college soccer. I enjoy teaching and would like to continue coaching in some capacity in the future. Sports has taught me how successful achievements are a collaborative effort.

Keep reading the 2021 20 in Their 20s Special Report.

No posts to display