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Jerry Parker

I first visited Jerry Parker’s original office in Manakin-Sabot Virginia in 1994. Manakin-Sabot is a rural Richmond suburb. It’s in the “sticks.” Why make that point? Because a few months before, I was in Salomon Brothers office in lower Manhattan gazing across, for the first time, their huge trading floor, which seemed like the epicenter of all trading. The lightbulb went off when I saw Parker’s unpretentious offices in Manakin-Sabot for the first time. You never would have guessed that this was where the thoughtful, laid-back CEO of Chesapeake Capital Management managed over $1 billion. For Jerry Parker, like Bill Dunn, trappings are meaningless.

Parker grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia, graduating from the University of Virginia. He was working as an accountant in Richmond when he applied to Richard Dennis’ training program and was the first student Dennis accepted. Pragmatic and consistent, he went on to start his own money management firm, Chesapeake Capital, in 1988. He made the decision to risk less and make less for clients, so he took the turtle trading approach, a Trend Following strategy, and ratcheted it down a degree. In other words, he took a very aggressive system for making money and customized it to investors who were comfortable with a lower percentage of risk and lower returns.


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