Founder of the largest exclusive short selling investment firm
James Chanos is a hedge fund manager and a New York City investment advisor that is focused on short selling. He founded Kynikos Associates, the largest exclusive short-selling investment firm in USA. He is the most famous short seller of Wall Street.
He was born on 24 December 1957, in a Greek immigrant family at a Milwaukee suburb that operated a chain of dry-cleaning shops. He helped pay his way through college with a summer job, as a union steel worker.
He graduated from Wylie E. Groves High School, and then went to Yale where he received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science in 1980.
After college, Chanos got his start as a bottom-rung analyst for Blyth Eastman Dillon in Chicago, working 80-hour weeks at $12,500 a year. It began to dawn on him, he says, that “I could’ve made more money shoveling snow in Milwaukee.” But when a group of partners split off to start their own firm, Gilford Securities, they took Chanos along.
His firm, Kynikos Associates, which is the Greek word for cynic, has been in the business of short selling from 1985 and provides investment management services for domestic and offshore clients and maintains private portfolios of securities for clients. Kynikos Associates LP manages at least $6 billion across several funds.
Before that, Chanos was the Vice President and Analyst at Deutsche Bank Capital Corp and prior to this, served as an Analyst at Gilford Securities. He also served as an Analyst at Blyth Eastman, Paine Webber.
James Chanos is the Chairman of the Coalition of Private Investment Companies and the President of the Board of Trustees of The Browning School. He also serves as a Trustee of The Nightingale-Bamford School and The New-York Historical Society. He is a Trustee of Citizens Budget Commission and has been a Lecturer in Finance at Yale School of Management.
The newspaper “The National Herald” included him in the list with 50 wealthiest Greek-Americans for 2016 and 2017.