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Hedge Funds Employ Former Intelligence Operatives

Apr 18, 2013
Jing Chen

Some of Israel’s top intelligence operatives are now working for hedge funds that are looking for an edge in the financial market.

Forbes reported that 80% of the business at Kela Israeli Intelligence, an international business intelligence firm based in Israel, comes from hedge fund managers in New York, London and Hong Kong.

Yigal Naveh, the co-founder and CEO of Kela, told Forbes that the firm primarily services activist and long/short hedge funds that are “trying to find fraud, not only on Chinese companies but companies around the world, Europe, where the business situation makes more companies cut corners and do less legitimate things.”

Separately, big-name hedge fund firms such as Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors and Dan Loeb’s Third Point have used intelligence firms staffed by former CIA operatives to teach their staff “deception detection” techniques.

Founded in 2009, Kela is staffed with about 40 former intelligence operatives—mostly from Israel’s equivalent of the National Security Agency. Kela’s other clients include insurance companies and pension funds.

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