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There are many professionals with tech background working in the finance industry. Panayotis Takis Sparaggis, founder of Alkeon Capital Management, is one of them. He got his PhD in electrical and computer engineering and MBA degree both in 1993, and received an IBM Fellowship in physical sciences in 1992 and 1993.

Before establishing Alkeon in 2002, Takis has served as a managing director and portfolio manager of technology-focused investment portfolios for CIBC Oppenheimer Asset Management. Prior to that, he spent two years at Credit Suisse First Boston Asset Management, where he was responsible for security analysis and portfolio management for domestic investments, including proprietary trading on long/short equities and convertible arbitrage.

Sparaggis has a diversified and global portfolio includes stocks from all sectors, but he invests over 50% of his portfolio in technology, media and telecom sectors.

Top 20 positions in Alkeon’s portfolio at the end of September:

Company Name

Ticker

Value

Activity

APPLE INC

AAPL

179103

5%

MARVELL TECHNOLOGY

MRVL

117638

28%

RED HAT INC

RHT

105915

62%

T I B C O SOFTWARE INC

TIBX

102375

56%

SYNOPSYS INC

SNPS

95222

61%

BAIDU INC

BIDU

91637

203%

MAXIM INTEGRATED PRODUCTS

MXIM

88254

22%

AMAZON COM INC

AMZN

77645

New

E M C CORP MA

EMC

77320

10%

ANALOG DEVICES INC

ADI

75795

2%

SANDISK CORP

SNDK

73034

14%

COACH INC

COH

70383

9%

NEW ORIENTAL EDUC & TECH

EDU

70221

327%

AVAGO TECHNOLOGIES LTD

AVGO

70217

-2%

VERISK ANALYTICS INC

VRSK

69501

4%

FOCUS MEDIA HOLDING LTD

FMCN

69439

29%

NETEASE COM INC

NTES

67653

11%

XILINX INC

XLNX

65431

13%

ARIBA INC

ARBA

64606

10%

ARUBA NETWORKS INC

ARUN

63874

18%

Sparaggis’ portfolio has a high turnover. There is not a single stock he has kept for the past five years. During the third quarter, he reduced his portfolio’s value from $2.9 billion at the end of June to $2.4 billion at the end of September. He also largely reduced the number of positions in the portfolio. Alkeon reported to own 69 different positions at the end of the second quarter, while it only had 51 positions at the end of the third quarter. Sparaggis sold out 22 positions, including Qualcomm Inc (QCOM), KLA Tencor Corp (KLAC), BMC Software Inc (BMC), Citrix Systems Inc (CTXS), Netgear Inc (NTGR), Vanceinfo Technologies Inc (VIT), and Brocade Communications System Inc (BRCD). The top three positions sold out by Sparaggis had an average return of 1.37% since the end of September, versus 2.82% for SPY in the same period.

Sparaggis largely increased his position in Baidu Inc (BIDU) during the third quarter. His Alkeon Capital Management reported to own $92 million worth of BIDU stocks at the end of September, tripling its stakes at the end of the second quarter. BIDU returned 12.16% since the end of the third quarter, beating the SPY by over 9 percentage points. Ken Fisher was also bullish about BIDU. He had over $450 million invested in the stock. Sparaggis also increased his stakes in Red Hat Inc (RHT), TIBO Software Inc (TIBX), and Synopsys Inc (SNPS) by around 60%. These three positions generated a weighted average return of 10.26% since the end of September, beating the market by 7.44%. Ken Griffin and Steven Cohen were also bullish about TIBX.

The new positions opened by Sparaggis over the third quarter did not perform so well so far in the fourth quarter. Sparaggis bought new stakes in Amazon.com Inc (AMZN), Costco Wholesale Corp (COST), Lam Resh Corp (LRCX), and Internet Initiative Japan Inc (IIJI) in the third quarter. However, all these positions had negative returns since the end of September.

Although Alkeon suffered losses from its new positions, these positions are not too big. Except AMZN, other positions were not in the top 20 holdings of the fund. On the other hand, most of the large positions of Alkeon generated better-than-market returns so far in the fourth quarter. We like Takis Sparaggis. His background and experience is invaluable for a hedge fund focusing on technology secotor. We believe that by focusing on the best stock picks of Alkeon Capital Management, investors will be able to beat the market over the long-term.

Source: Alkeon Capital's Top Technology Stock Picks