Guardian Fund, LP, an Atlanta-based hedge fund founded and managed by 09EMBA Mike Williams, was recently honored by Barclays Hedge as the top performing options strategy hedge fund in its worldwide database.

Since its launch in 2009, Guardian’s trading strategies have cumulatively returned 499.57 percent, earning an annualized return of 106.31 percent. It has returned a net profit of 58.14 percent so far this year, compared to a return of 5.81 percent for the S&P 500 index over the same period.

“Guardian Fund has enjoyed success in both bull and bear markets because our strategies can generate profits in any market cycle,” Williams said.

Based in Atlanta, Williams said he couldn’t have started such a successful fund without completing the Executive MBA program at Goizueta.

“Professionals in the hedge fund industry know that Emory is a very good and top-ranked school. That helps give potential investors confidence in their due diligence processes that ultimately lead to investments into Guardian Fund,” Williams said, noting his gain in network and education.

Williams, 36, graduated Beta Gamma Sigma and has worked as an investor, trader and venture capitalist for 16 years. Still, he said entering his current area of finance required more connections. The Emory Center for Alternative Investments (CAI) was being formed as he prepped for graduation but two professors involved in the program advised him and continue to offer support.

Williams said CAI is “a huge asset” to students and should continue to grow as a research base for the field.

The fund manager credits his success to an environment at Goizueta that fostered practical learning. He took elective courses in other degree programs and immediately applied much of what he learned toward fund planning.

“I developed and used a few trading strategies and investment models for a few years before entering the EMBA program,” he said. “The Emory aspect in that puzzle was in learning in every class. In most of the classes I took, I left feeling like I just put a few more arrows in my quiver — I had more weapons and tools to go out and be more successful with.”