MiB: Dominique Mielle, Damsel in Distressed


This week, we speak with former hedge fund manager Dominique Mielle, author of 2021’s “Damsel in Distressed: My Life in the Golden Age of Hedge Funds.” Mielle spent two decades as a partner and senior portfolio manager at Canyon Capital Advisors and was named one of the “50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds” by the Hedge Fund Journal and E&Y. She currently serves on the boards of four publicly traded firms and one private company.

She began her career at Lehman Brothers in the Financial Institutions Group (FIG) in the 1980s; while there, she penned an article for Business Insider about the lack of women in finance that sparked a love of writing.

Becoming “comfortable being uncomfortable” was one of the secrets to her investing success.

Mielle was working on restructuring telecom bonds in the early 2000s when 9/11 happened, leading to a restructuring of the airline sector. Post GFC, she ended up working on the paper of Lehman and other financials. She explains why “The only difference between “Stressed and Distressed bonds is the immediacy of the bankruptcy.”

She cites several studies showing the tendency of men to overtrade, thereby reducing their risk adjusted returns by an average of 2.6%. This argues for having more women on investment committees as a way to avoid groupthink and improve returns.

A list of her favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here Tuesday.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including any podcast extras, on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, YouTube, and Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Ken Kencel, founder and CEO of Churchill Asset Management. The private credit firm manages $46 billion in private capital and is an affiliate of Nuveen, the $1.1 trillion asset manager of TIAA. Churchill was the top U.S. private equity lender in 2022 and was “Lender of the Year” by M&A Advisor. Kencel was named one of private credit’s 20 power players.



Dominique Mielle’s authored book

Damsel in Distressed: My Life in the Golden Age of Hedge Funds by Dominique Mielle


Dominique Mielle Favorite Books

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein

Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street by Sheelah Kolhatkar

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Kim by Rudyard Kipling

When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro


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