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Rising hedgie stars at Sohn bet on biotech, retail

A pedestrian walks past a Zales store in New York.
Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Emerging hedge fund investors kicked off the seventh annual Sohn San Francisco Investment Conference with bets on a biotech and a beleaguered jewelry chain. One manager sees a quick merger arbitrage opportunity for an outstanding deal in the agricultural space.

Wednesday's event is the West Coast version of the prominent conferences which began in New York. The Sohn conferences, which are known for hedge fund managers making market-moving presentations to their peers, benefit pediatric cancer and other causes for underserved youth. The conference is presented in partnership with CNBC.

The "Next Wave" panel began Wednesday's conference featuring up-and-coming hedge fund managers who recently set out on new ventures.

Here are their picks below: