100 Women in Hedge Funds Honors Sonia Gardner of Avenue Capital Group

by Margarita Shelley-Smith

While numerous publications and analysts address the question of women’s inability to successfully manage high risk investments and understand the nuances of portfolio management, Sonia Gardner is a clear example to the contrary.

On June 5th, 2008, 100 Women in Hedge Funds named Sonia Gardner of Avenue Capital Group as a recipient of this year’s Leadership Award. This award recognizes individuals whose professional dedication, innovation, passion and ethics set a standard of excellence for the industry. “We are so pleased to be honoring Sonia Gardner, whose combined achievements as a founder, partner and leader of a pioneering, pre-eminent alternative asset management firm are unique,” said the board director, Mimi Drake.

Ms. Gardner will receive her award at the 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala in New York on November 19, 2008. In accordance with WHF’s philanthropic mission, the proceeds from the event will benefit both the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention and Harrold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute, both of which make strides against breast, cervical and colon cancer.

An honors graduate of Clark University with a J.D. from the Cardozo School of Law, Sonia Gardner is the co-founder, president and managing partner of Avenue Capital Group. Since it’s founding in 1995, Avenue Capital Group has grown to 12 offices worldwide, and manages nearly $20 billion in assets. With over 20 years of specialized experience under her belt, Ms. Gardner plays a key role in the firm’s management of distressed debt investments.

Mark Lasry, the co-founder, chairman and CEO of the Avenue Capital Group, who will present Ms. Gardner with the award had said, “Sonia is an incredibly smart, hardworking and dedicated person. She consistently adheres to the highest ethical standards and has required the same from those with whom we have worked in building Avenue over the years. As the firm’s Managing Partner, she is known for being tough, but always fair, which is why the firm works as well as it does. She is a tremendous role model for women in our industry, and I am proud that she has been my partner for over 20 years.”

100 Women in Hedge Funds (WHF) is a global association with over 8,000 professional women as its members. The association is dedicated to making a difference in the industry and the community through education, professional leverage and philanthropy. It has locations in many major US cities as well as in London and Hong Kong, with regularly scheduled and free educational and networking events designed to benefit its members.

Since its inception in 2001, WHF has helped numerous charitable organizations with over $13 million in donations. Each year the board of directors selects an organization in women’s health, mentoring or education that will benefit from the organization’s fundraising.

The Glass Hammer congratulates Ms. Gardner on her award and extends our gratitude and admiration for her continued hard work.