How Former Green Beret David Walker Applies Leadership Lessons Learned in the Military to the Hedge Fund Industry

David Walker

March 3, 2021

David Walker Green Beret Military to the Hedge Fund Industry

Not all individuals have the ability to be successful in the hedge fund industry.  It takes knowledge of the financial markets as well as the ability to perform under pressure.  David Walker applies his experience in the U.S. Army to hedge funds.

Former Green Beret David Walker is the co-founder and COO of GrowthLine Capital. The hedge fund is a long-biased, high return-seeking equity fund.  Specifically, the fund invests in companies that benefit from innovation-driven disruptive change.  At Growthline Capital, they look for companies that can become multiples of their current size in order to get the best performance results.

David Walker Green Beret spent the majority of his military career as a US Army Special Forces Commander.  The leadership training that he received has helped him work in all facets of hedge fund operations to include business operations and project/mission planning as well as the finer aspects of how to lead a rapidly growing firm.  

Mission planning, specifically, is something that David Walker, learned while serving in the military.  He learned early on that if a mission wasn’t going as planned, he needed to adjust the plan and lead his organization on a different path.  Now, he applies those same skills to the way that he manages his firm.

After serving in the US Army, David Walker Green Beret became a Financial Services Executive.  In the past 17 years, he has managed every sized firm from a start-up to multi-billion dollar funds and has established a network of industry contacts that include investors, broker/dealers, attorneys, accountants, and more.  It ensures that he has people to turn to when he has questions, just as he did while in the military.  He believes that no person can know everything, so they are only as good as their network.

One of the leadership lessons that David Walker Green Beret has learned is to deal with difficulty in a rapidly changing environment. Often, there are things that don’t go as planned.  There are various factors that may make a person want to quit in the face of adversity.  However, there’s the importance of acting rationally and being able to stomach the new environment.

David Walker has applied this to help grow the hedge fund he co-founded with his business partner and fellow U.S. Army Veteran, Mark Shattan. The market volatility can make anyone act irrationally.  However, there are often highs and lows.  Having a plan and staying rational through the low periods and waiting for the high periods, it allows for the better overall performance of the fund.

More About David Walker, Former Green Beret

David Walker sits on the Board of Advisors for the Green Beret Foundation. Additionally, he works as a hedge fund Chief Operating Officer, overseeing GrowthLine Capital.  He has spent a significant amount of his early career working as a green beret with the 5th Special Forces Group. David Walker holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point.