Clark Collins, managing member of Stuart, Fla.-based CEC Capital LLC, met Pierre Tullier, former president of commodity trading advisor (CTA) Dunn Capital Management, through his future wife. Collins befriended Tullier, who would later become his father-in-law, and became fascinated with trading.
After graduating from Florida Southern, Collins went into the medical supply business, but what he really wanted to do was trade. “I wanted to get into alternative finance like [Pierre] and Bill Dunn were doing. The more I [learned from them] the more I was sure that this was something I wanted to do.”
Collins contacted brokerage firm Geldermann looking for work and met its president, Jim Curley. Curley, who had a relationship with Dunn, recommended a management training program at Geldermann.
“You worked [in] the different departments within a futures commission merchant. Every two months I would rotate. It was a special opportunity,” Collins says. “It was interesting putting all the pieces together and [seeing] where CTAs fit into this because I didn’t want to be a broker, I wanted to be a CTA.”
Collins already knew a lot about CTAs. “Pierre was a natural teacher. He was very accommodating [about] teaching you anything you wanted to learn. They called him ‘the professor’ at Dunn,” he says.
When his training was over, Collins took a position in the foreign exchange unit at Geldermann. “That is where the action was,” Collins says. “We were making markets for [Paul] Tudor Jones; we were making markets for [George] Soros’ Quantum fund. We were a small group but had some big customers.”