where core values fuel performance

Expertise in deploying relative value strategies
across developed Fixed Income Markets


Culture | Integrity | Commitment

Garda Capital Partners is an independently owned asset management firm specializing in global alternative investment strategies from our offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Geneva, Switzerland.

Garda was established by a committed team of professionals to provide sophisticated institutional investors access to our focused fixed income relative value and inflation index outperformance strategies.
We believe long-term performance is fueled by a culture of uncompromising integrity as well as open and transparent partnerships with investors, counterparties and employees.
Our investment process is highly disciplined, with clearly defined objectives and risk thresholds for portfolio construction, and risk management that is simultaneously independent and integrated.

We have navigated various market cycles profitably for our investors every year since inception of our first fund in 2003. Garda was established by a team of experienced industry professionals committed to a common goal.

"We invest heavily on the front end of any partnership to ensure it’s a good fit for each of us. We work closely with our investors and their advisors to make sure they understand the nature of the opportunities that we pursue, our investment philosophy, and how we utilize leverage to implement our strategies. It is equally imperative that we are confident that we can deliver on the investors’ stated long term investment objectives."

Jeff Drobny, CIO and Managing Partner

Garda's relative value fixed income strategies seek to capture opportunities in interest rate disparities across global markets and sovereign debt instruments in developed fixed income markets.

The performance objective of these strategies is to produce consistent positive returns throughout varying market cycles while delivering results that are not correlated to broader market segments. We utilize proprietary analysis to identify the opportunities which may arise from supply and demand imbalances in sovereign bonds, segmentation between markets such as interest rate futures, cash bonds and interest rate swaps, and diverging interest rate policies across central banks. Portfolio construction may utilize both relative value and directional strategies with typical trading themes being long/short in nature with duration hedged to isolate the idiosyncratic or secular exposure we want to pursue. The process of isolating the desired exposure makes extensive use of levered interest rate and other derivatives as well as repurchase agreements.

This specialized strategy was originally implemented as a customized solution for a strategic Garda investor.

To meet the investor’s specific exposure objectives, we replicate the Barclays all TIPS index utilizing leverage, and pursue outperformance of the index through relative value trading of potential opportunities created by interest rate disparities in inflation linked securities.
Garda Capital Partners was founded in 2015 by Jeff Drobny, Tim Magnusson and Rob Goedken to continue the Fixed Income trading strategies which were first offered to institutional investors in 2004 by Black River Asset Management, a subsidiary of Cargill. Jeff, Tim and Rob are each former senior executives of Black River and now lead a select team of investment industry professionals, including more than 40 former Black River employees dedicated to both our investors and our vision for Garda.

On February 1, 2016, Garda Capital Partners assumed, with full investor consent, the investment management responsibility for two Black River fixed income funds, which currently represent over $2.7 billion* in institutional assets under management.

Link to press release

*As of October 1, 2016

Jeff Drobny
Managing Partner, CIO

Mr. Drobny is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Garda, where he provides strategic direction of the investment strategies as well as overall leadership of the firm. Prior to co-founding Garda, Mr. Drobny launched the fixed income relative value strategies at Black River in 2003, where he was also a Principal and served as Global Head of the Relative Value and Commodity-Related hedge fund businesses. Previously, Mr. Drobny worked in Cargill's Financial Markets Group in London, before later returning to the U.S. to oversee trading management for Cargill's Fixed Income Arbitrage business. Mr. Drobny graduated from Union College with a Bachelor's degree in Economics and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Robert Goedken
Partner, Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel

Mr. Goedken is a Partner, Chief Operating Officer, and General Counsel of Garda. Mr. Goedken provides leadership for the business management and operational functions of the firm. Prior to co-founding Garda, Mr. Goedken was the Chief Operating Officer of Black River for more than 5 years, after originally joining Black River in 2005 as its Chief Legal Officer. From October 1995 to June 2005, Mr. Goedken was a lawyer with Cargill’s Law Department. During his tenure, Mr. Goedken specialized in Cargill’s equipment leasing, value investment, and global capital markets businesses. Mr. Goedken graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Finance). He obtained his JD from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Tim Magnusson
Partner, Senior Portfolio Manager

Mr. Magnusson is a Partner of Garda and the Senior Portfolio Manager of the Fixed Income Relative Value Opportunity Fund. He leads the Garda investment team and is responsible for implementation of the fixed income investment strategies. Prior to co-founding Garda, Mr. Magnusson spent his entire trading career at Black River and its predecessor, Cargill Financial Markets. He assumed the role of Senior Portfolio Manager of the Fixed Income Relative Value Opportunity Fund in 2008. At Black River’s inception in 2003, Mr. Magnusson was based in London where he managed the Western European fixed income relative value activity. Upon moving back to the US in 2006, he continued to manage this activity for the Fund. From 2000 through 2002, Mr. Magnusson served as portfolio manager for the US Fixed Income Relative Value team within Cargill’s Financial Markets Group. From 1996 to 2000, Mr. Magnusson worked in Cargill’s Corporate Treasury group, primarily on the debt management desk. Mr. Magnusson graduated summa cum laude from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and German. Mr. Magnusson also holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Mr. Magnusson is a CFA® charterholder.

Matthew Abroe, PhD
Portfolio Manager

Dr. Abroe is a Portfolio Manager principally responsible for relative value trading in global inflation fixed income markets. Prior to joining Garda, Dr. Abroe was a portfolio manager at Black River, where he traded inflation linked securities since 2009. Before moving into a portfolio management role, Dr. Abroe was a quantitative analyst at Black River since joining the firm in 2004, responsible for developing systems and derivative pricing models used for analyzing fixed income markets. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Minnesota, and bachelor’s degree from Loyola University.

Mark Beecroft
Portfolio Manager

Mr. Beecroft serves as Portfolio Manager primarily responsible for relative value trading in the Western Europe markets. Prior to Garda, Mr. Beecroft joined the Fixed Income Relative Value investment team in 2004 at Black River. Previously, from 1997-2004, Mr. Beecroft was a Senior Foreign Exchange dealer for Cargill's Corporate Treasury group. He joined Cargill in 1994 as a management accountant. Mr. Beecroft graduated with a Master’s degree in Economics and Politics from Edinburgh University.

Greg Bennett
Portfolio Manager

Mr. Bennett is a Portfolio Manager at Garda, where his responsibilities include trading developed rates markets with an emphasis on European interest rates and government bond markets. Mr. Bennett uses internal and external analytical tools to look at swap spread curve shapes to find both micro and macro spread curve risk for the portfolio. Mr. Bennett joined the investment team at Garda via the Associate Development Program at Black River. Prior to Black River, Mr. Bennett interned as a Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Bennett obtained a Bachelor's degree, majoring in Economics and European History, from the University of Notre Dame.

Shane Cahill
Portfolio Manager

Mr. Cahill is a Portfolio Manager primarily focused on U.K. and European Fixed Income Markets. Mr. Cahill joined the Fixed Income Relative Value investment team in July 2013 at Black River. Prior to joining Black River, Mr. Cahill spent ten years with Goldman Sachs in London, most recently as an Executive Director in charge of the Goldman Sachs Gilt Franchise. In this capacity, Mr. Cahill was responsible for providing customer liquidity in various gilt and interest rate swap products in addition to sourcing attractive relative value investments for the Gilt business. Before joining the Gilt business in 2008, Mr. Cahill spent two years covering relative value hedge funds on the hedge fund sales desk (2003-2005), before joining the trading desk in 2005 to set up the London based Asian interest rate products desk (2005-2008). Mr. Cahill graduated from University College Dublin with a first class honors degree in Commerce and German (B. Comm International).

Ganlin Chang
Portfolio Manager

Mr. Chang is a Portfolio Manager primarily responsible for relative value trading in global interest rate derivative markets. Mr. Chang joined Garda in 2016 with fifteen years’ experience trading and performing quantitative research in fixed income, with a specialty in interest rate derivatives. Prior to Garda, Mr. Chang most recently spent four years as a Portfolio Manager at BlueCrest Capital Management, where he traded government bonds, interest rate derivatives, and currencies. Previously, Mr. Chang also spent six years as a Director in fixed income proprietary trading at Credit Suisse, a year and a half at HBK Investment as a Portfolio Manager, and began his career at Lehman Brothers. Mr. Chang holds a doctorate in finance from Columbia Business School, a master’s degree in physics from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Conan Crum, PhD
Portfolio Manager

Dr. Crum is a Portfolio Manager predominantly focused on global inflation fixed income markets. Dr. Crum became part of the Fixed Income Relative Value investment team when he joined Black River in 2013. Previously, Dr. Crum worked at BlackRock from 2008-2013 where he first served in their Risk and Quantitative Analysis group and then as a Portfolio Manager in BlackRock’s global inflation-linked bond business. Dr. Crum graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and received his Doctorate in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Crum is also the author of two papers in the Journal of Portfolio Management: “Reflections on Buy-Side Risk Management After (or Between) the Storms” - Summer 2010 and “Risk Management Lessons Worth Remembering from the Credit Crisis of 2007–2009” - Spring 2010.

Cyrille Defolie
Portfolio Manager

Mr. Defolie is a Portfolio Manager, focusing on relative value trading in the European Markets. Mr. Defolie has been part of the Fixed Income Relative Value investment team since 2005, when he joined Black River as a Trading Assistant. Mr. Defolie also held the role of Analyst from 2008-2011, when he was promoted to Portfolio Manager. Prior to joining Black River, Mr. Defolie was a Management Accountant for Cargill's real estate investment group from 2002-2005. Mr. Defolie graduated from the French business school of La Rochelle. He also graduated with a Bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Finance and Economics from the Dortmund Fachhochschule in Germany.

Roderick Knowles
Portfolio Manager

Mr. Knowles is a Portfolio Manager primarily focused on European relative value trading. Prior to joining Garda, Mr. Knowles was a Portfolio Manager at BTG Pactual in London for seven years, where he specialized in developed markets rates and foreign exchange from a relative value and macro perspective. Previously, Mr. Knowles was with Merrill Lynch in various roles from 1996-2009, including as a rates derivatives trader, equity derivatives trader, and rates strategist. Mr. Knowles also spent time as a derivatives trader at UBS and Confederation Life Insurance Toronto, and as a quantitative analyst at Citibank. Mr. Knowles holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Toronto.

Peter McGarry
Portfolio Manager

Mr. McGarry is a Portfolio Manager focused on macro relative value opportunities across the European and U.S. interest rate spectrum. Prior to Garda, Mr. McGarry joined Black River in April 2015, bringing with him over 16 years’ prior experience trading rates, derivatives, cash and FX instruments. He worked as Portfolio Manager at both Bluecrest Capital and 5:15 Capital; Managing Director and Global Head of USD interest rate swaps at BNP Paribas; and Senior Dealer and Head of EUR interest rate swaps at Danske Bank. Mr. McGarry began his career at Bank of America, working as a trader and Vice President from 1998 to 2004. Mr. McGarry holds a Bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Studies and a Master’s of Finance degree from University College Dublin.

Sarju Shah
Portfolio Manager

Mr. Shah is a Portfolio Manager focused on European inflation markets. Prior to joining Garda, Mr. Shah worked for Barclays for nearly eight years, most recently as Vice President and Senior Trader in Eurozone inflation markets. He specialized in inflation forecasting and trading of the short end of the curve. Mr. Shah obtained his Master's degree in Statistical Science and Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.

Shawn Slaven
Portfolio Manager

Mr. Slaven is a Portfolio Manager primarily focused on relative value in the United States. Prior to joining the Fixed Income Relative Value investment team in September 2015, Mr. Slaven spent ten years in Black River's Emerging Markets group, most recently as Portfolio Manager. Within the Emerging Markets group, Mr. Slaven traded fixed income and foreign exchange products in Mexico, Chile, and Colombia. Mr. Slaven holds an MBA from the University of Iowa, and graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Kenyon College.

Frederic Vereecken
Portfolio Manager

Mr. Vereecken serves as Portfolio Manager primarily responsible for relative value trading in the North American markets. Mr. Vereecken became part of the Fixed Income Relative Value investment team when he joined Black River in 2003. Prior to Black River, Mr. Vereecken worked at Cargill, Inc., from 1998-2003. He advised on acquisitions in Cargill's Strategy & Business Development department, and worked as a Merchant in its Grain & Oilseeds Division. Previously, Mr. Vereecken worked at Bain & Company in Paris and Brussels. Mr. Vereecken graduated magna cum laude from the University of Gent, Belgium with a Master’s degree in Electrotechnical Engineering with a major in Nuclear Physics. Mr. Vereecken also holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he was an Honorary Fulbright Scholar and was awarded the title of Palmer Scholar for academic excellence.

Ted Farrell
Chief Risk Officer

Mr. Farrell is the Chief Risk Officer of Garda, responsible for heading the Risk Management Group and measuring and assessing risk for the fixed income relative value and inflation strategies. Mr. Farrell joined the Fixed Income Relative Value team at Black River in 2013. Previously, Mr. Farrell worked at Scotiabank from 2010-2013 as the Market Risk Manager for the US Rates business in New York. Mr. Farrell began his career in 1998 with JP Morgan, spending 8 years in their Proprietary Positioning Business in a variety of roles. From 2002-2006, Mr. Farrell was a trader on the European Rates Relative Value desk in London. Upon returning from London, he worked at Deutsche Bank in New York during the financial crisis focused on risk and valuation in the Global Markets Finance group. Mr. Farrell graduated from The George Washington University with a B.B.A. in Finance and International Business.

Dan Fisk
Head of Finance and Liquidity

Mr. Fisk is Garda’s Head of Finance and Liquidity, responsible for managing counterparty relationships including all financing facilities, cash management, clearing and custody infrastructure, and overall firmwide credit exposure to those counterparties. Prior to joining Garda, Mr. Fisk served as Global Head of Hedge Fund Risk, Finance and Liquidity at Black River, having joined the firm initially as Leverage Manager in 2002. From 1999-2002, Mr. Fisk served in an electricity trading position within Cargill’s Energy Division. Mr. Fisk originally joined Cargill in 1990 as part of the team responsible for establishing the London office of the Financial Markets Group. He held a variety of positions in London including equity trading, managing the administrative function for the London office, and providing a supervisory role for the Geneva, Moscow, Warsaw, and Istanbul locations. Prior to joining Cargill, Mr. Fisk held various Treasury positions with Chase Manhattan Bank in London from 1987-1990.

Michael Grover
Managing Director, Investor Relations

Mr. Grover is Managing Director of Investor Relations, responsible for the relationship management of current and prospective investors. Prior to joining Garda in 2016, Mr. Grover was the Head of Client Relations for EverStream Capital Management from September 2013. Previous to that, Mr. Grover worked at Cargill starting in 1993 in the Financial Markets Group, where he spent ten years before eventually joining Black River Asset Management at its inception in 2003 to lead the capital raising and investor relations team. Mr. Grover graduated from Albion College with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management and earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan.

Kris Kittiko

Ms. Kittiko is Garda’s Controller. In this capacity, she is responsible for managing all accounting and operations. Prior to joining Garda, Ms. Kittiko served as Controller of Black River from 2011-2016. Immediately prior to her tenure at Black River, Ms. Kittiko worked for CarVal Investors, where she held positions including Director of Operations and Administration Manager. Ms. Kittiko also spent two years as Controller at Global Trade Resources, an emerging markets hedge fund in Minneapolis. Ms. Kittiko launched her career at Cargill with the Financial Markets Group in 1994. Ms. Kittiko graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting with a Spanish minor.

Ashwin Kumar
Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Kumar serves as Chief Technology Officer, responsible for the implementation and management of Garda’s technology infrastructure. Prior to Garda, Mr. Kumar joined Black River in 2004 as a Senior Research Analyst on the Fixed Income Relative Value desk, before becoming an Enterprise Systems Manager, where he was responsible for the selection and implementation of the firm’s portfolio management system and proprietary data warehouse system. From 1998-2004, Mr. Kumar held various IT roles with the financial markets group at Cargill, where his experience spanned operations, accounting and risk systems. Mr. Kumar holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Computer Science) from Bangalore University, Bangalore India and an MBA (General Management) from the University of Minnesota.

Andhi Michaux
Chief HR Officer

Mr. Michaux is Garda’s Chief HR Officer, responsible for the overall administration, coordination and evaluation of the human resources function. Prior to joining Garda, Mr. Michaux joined Black River in May 2006 as an HR Generalist, where he was promoted to Sr. Generalist in 2009 and eventually became the function lead in 2015. Previously, Mr. Michaux was an HR Generalist with Dunwoody College of Technology since 2003. Mr. Michaux graduated from St. Mary’s University, MN with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Mr. Michaux also holds an Associate’s Degree in Computer Networking Systems from Dunwoody College of Technology.

Tom Wagner
Chief Compliance Officer

Mr. Wagner is Garda’s Chief Compliance Officer, responsible for overseeing and managing compliance with all regulatory requirements as well as with internal policies and procedures. Prior to joining Garda, Mr. Wagner served as the Chief Compliance Officer at Black River from 2008-2016 and at Deephaven Capital Management from 2005-2008. Prior to that, Mr. Wagner spent ten years at RBC Dain Rauscher in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he held various positions including Senior Vice President of Compliance, Director of Product Compliance and Director of Surveillance. He also spent nine years at U.S. Bank in various financial and corporate development roles prior to RBC Dain Rauscher. Mr. Wagner holds a Bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in MN and an MBA in Finance from Arizona State University with an emphasis in Finance and Marketing.


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