In an episode of the Ideaweek Podcast, presented by MOI Global, Saahill Desai discusses his investment philosophy and the approach of the single family office he manages.
Saahill is the founder of DS Advisors, a NYC/Miami-based family office where he oversees investment activity and manages a public equities fund. Saahill began his career at Jane Street Capital, a high-frequency trading and market making business in New York City. He later joined New Silk Route Partners, a South Asia-focused growth equity firm in their Mumbai office. He worked on NSR portfolio investments in media, healthcare, and manufacturing in addition to extensive work on the deals in the energy sector. While in India, he founded DS Advisors, the organization that now manages the majority of his family’s liquid net worth.
The firm is built on three fundamental principles: preservation of capital, a long-term view on investing, and partnering with great people who have impeccable values. At the moment, the firm operates in three areas: (i) public markets: the firm manages several public securities portfolios focused on equities and debt listed in developed markets; (ii) real estate: the firm focuses on owning and operating cash-flowing real estate assets in the U.S.; and (iii) private transactions: DSA seeks to invest directly in select private businesses with strong ROIC and cash flow characteristics.
In addition to sitting on DS Advisors’ investment committee, which oversees all the above pools, Saahill leads the firm’s efforts to expand its capabilities into new areas. Across all business segments, where the family office believes it cannot build or acquire specialized expertise, it seeks to partner with domain experts. In his free time, Saahill enjoys playing tennis and squash, traveling, reading up on consumer technology trends and following college and professional football. Saahill received a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering and a Certificate in Finance from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
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