Emmanuel Lemelson

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Emmanuel Lemelson
Padre Emmanouil Lugano Switzerland 2013 retouched.jpg
Lemelson in 2013
OrdinationJuly 23, 2011
by Metropolitan Elpidophoros the Abbot of the Theological School at Halki
Personal details
Born (1976-06-29) June 29, 1976 (age 43)
Phoenix, Arizona,
United States
OccupationGreek Orthodox priest, social commentator, and hedge fund manager
EducationSeattle University (BA)
Hellenic College Holy Cross (MDiv)

Father Emmanuel Lemelson (born Gregory Manoli Lemelson; June 29, 1976) is an American-born Greek Orthodox priest, social commentator and businessman.

Between 1999 and 2010, he ran the internet company Amvona. After closing the business in 2010, he reformed the company website into a social commentary page. Following the change, his commentary in regard to the securitization of mortgage-backed securities was widely cited.

In 2011, Lemelson was ordained a Greek Orthodox priest. He is in favor of reconciliation between the Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches. Lemelson has advocated a philosophy of investment based on Christian ethics, and in 2012, he founded Lemelson Capital Management, which runs The Amvona Fund, a hedge fund.[1] Additionally in 2012, Lemelson founded The Lantern Foundation with its purpose being to support religious, charitable, and educational causes with a focus on those associated with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Early life and education[edit]

Gregory Manoli Lemelson[2] was born on June 29, 1976 in Phoenix, Arizona to a Jewish father and Christian mother.[3][1] Following high school, he attended Seattle University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies[4] in 1999.[citation needed] He then attended Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he received a Master's of Divinity in 2003.[2]

While a 17-year old undergraduate at Seattle University, Lemelson met Robert Spitzer, a Jesuit priest and philosopher. In interviews, Lemelson has indicated that the encounter was a significant event in his religious life.[clarification needed][5][6][7]

Early career[edit]

Lemelson has written about his early business experiences, saying that his earliest recollection was selling candy on the bus ride home from school in the sixth grade.[8] In 1994, while an undergraduate student at Seattle University, he launched a retail photography business, and in 1999 he founded the website Amvona[a] from his dorm room at Hellenic College. The company, which sold photography accessories, grew quickly, generating around $40 million in revenue.[9]

In 2005, based in part on proprietary software the company developed, the site began a transition to a hybrid platform of social networking and ecommerce content.[10] By 2007, Lemelson developed technology to link media creation to relevant products using exif data and aggregating shared images of the site's users as a prototype first known as "Amvona Trails" and later rebranded as the independent website Flekt.[11][12]

Between 1999 and 2010, Amvona sold more than a million photo accessories to 300,000 customers, and was one of the top ten most visited online photo retail websites. The company also registered several patents, including proprietary software to connect its customers through user profiles, product reviews, exif data and online tracking software. Similar technology was later used by other websites to track user activities.[9][13] In 2010, Amvona discontinued its e-commerce business. There was no official explanation, however journalist Filipe R. Costa speculated it was due to increased competition from Chinese companies offering cheap photography equipment online, and Lemelson's business philosophy of not taking on massive debt for the possibility of future growth.[9]

Lemelson later added a news and securities analysis content outlet for the site focused on issues of faith, technology, economics and investing.[12][14]

Religious activity[edit]

Lemelson was ordained as a Greek Orthodox Deacon on July 23, 2011 and, the following day, as a priest by Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa.[15] He was granted the ecclesiastical name Emmanuel and was assigned to the Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America at the Holy Trinity Albanian Orthodox parish in South Boston.[16] In June 2013,[citation needed] he was assigned to the Holy Metropolis of Switzerland, a jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.[5]

In November 2014, Lemelson was a member of the Orthodox Church's delegation for a two-day meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Pope Francis in Istanbul. He has said that as a young man he fostered a vision that Catholics and Orthodox Christians would soon be reunited,[17] and he has stated that more progress towards reconciliation has been made under these two leaders than had taken place in nearly a millennium,[18] since the East–West Schism.

At a presidential candidate campaign rally for Donald Trump held in Keene, New Hampshire on September 30, 2015, Lemelson offered the invocation and spoke at the rally, condemning the abortion practices of Planned Parenthood. He also gave a personal blessing to Trump.[19]

In October 2016 Lemelson called for the removal of the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston following a clergy sex-abuse scandal. He said the incident was preventable and there were serious deficiencies in the protocols used for the oversight of clergy.[20][21]


In 2010, Lemelson began to write about investment-related topics, including security analysis, Christian investment philosophy and ethics.

His writing have been cited by Anonymous, Occupy Wall Street, the Massachusetts Registry of Deeds and by attorneys and litigants involved in mortgage securitization litigation.[22][23]

Lemelson has criticized the Federal Reserve for keeping interest rates artificially low and contributing to economic inequality.[19]

In a June 2016 Op-Ed for The National Interest, Lemelson advocated strengthening of US immigration policy, which he claims would oppose Islamic extremism.[24]

Lemelson has appeared as a guest on the "Pre-Market Prep" radio show of Benzinga,[25] CBS News,[26] Fox News,[27] Fox Business Network,[28] NTV[29] and has written for The National Interest.[24]

Hedge fund manager[edit]

In September 2012, Lemelson founded Lemelson Capital Management, LLC, the sole sponsor and general partner of The Amvona Fund, L.P. that focuses on deep value and special situations.[30] He is the chief investment officer of the fund.[citation needed]

His activities led the Amvona Fund to be ranked in three months during 2013–14 among the world's top performing hedge funds,[31][32] and by mid 2015 the company reported a net return of 150 percent since its launch.[1]

His investment research and analysis has been cited in The Wall Street Journal,[33] USA Today,[34][35] New York Post,[36] Fox Business Network[28] and The Street.[37]

In October 2015 The Wall Street Journal published an article about Lemelson that included a claim that Lemelson boasted of his ability to 'crash' stocks, and quoted him as saying "My whole life I always knew things before they happened. I guess it's just a gift from God."[1] Lemelson later published a response to the story, calling it a "directory of fallacies" and outlined what he described as 14 major factual errors and omissions in the article, but did not deny the quote regarding prescience.[38] Dow Jones (the owner of The Wall Street Journal) stated that they stood by their story.[38]

In September 2018, Bloomberg reported that Lemelson was being sued by the SEC for alleged stock manipulation. It is alleged he made $1.3 mil in illegal profits for publishing false information about Ligand Pharmaceuticals, and then shorting the position. Lemelson says the SEC suit has no merit. Lemelson unsuccessfully sued Bloomberg for reporting in March 2016 that the SEC was investigating his trades of Ligand Pharmaceuticals.[39][40]

Personal life and philanthropy[edit]

Lemelson lives in Southborough, Massachusetts and is married to Theodora Anjeza Lemelson.[5] As of 2015, he had four children.[1]

In December 2012 Lemelson founded The Lantern Foundation, a non-profit foundation focused on supporting religious, charitable and educational causes with a special focus on those associated with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Since its inception, he has served as its president.[4]


  1. ^ The name "Amvona" is derived from the Greek word for "pulpit"


  1. ^ a b c d e Copeland, Rob (October 28, 2015). "Hedge-Fund Priest: Thou Shalt Make Money". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 December 2015. (Subscription required)
  2. ^ a b 33 Degrees awarded at HC/HC Commencement Orthodox Observer, June–July 2003, page 2. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  3. ^ Salo, Jackie (2015-10-27). "Who Is The Hedge Fund Priest? Meet Emmanuel Lemelson, The Reverend Of Wall Street". ibtimes.com. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  4. ^ a b The Lantern Foundation official website, "Leadership", Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson", The MetroWest Daily News, June 16, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  6. ^ Brown, Brian "Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson Speaks About His Journey Alongside Amvona" California Business Journal, April 18, 2013. (Archived at archive.org). Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  7. ^ Wright, Susan "Amvona Unites Thinkers On Multi-Faceted Blog" Investment Underground, March 4, 2013. (Archived at archive.org). Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  8. ^ Lemelson, Emmanuel. The Amvona Fund, L.P. 2012 Annual Report Archived 2016-01-29 at the Wayback Machine (pdf file). Page 7. Retrieved January 7, 2016
  9. ^ a b c Costa, Filipe R. (June 8, 2015). "Fund Manager in focus: Emmanuel Lemelson". Master Investor. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  10. ^ "Amvona 720, Apple Sued, Google Video Featured, 2007 Predictions", by Pete Cashmore, Mashable, December 30, 2006., Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "Amvona.com: Buy Equipment, Socialize", Killer Startups, Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Amvona Launches Site-Specific Search for Photographers", by Kristen Nicole, Mashable, February 21, 2008, Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  13. ^ "On the Value of Users, Hard Drives and Batteries," Part 1, Seeking Alpha, June 13, 2012., Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  14. ^ "Frugal business: Mansfield CEO never lost sight of the bottom line", by Rick Foster, The Sun-Chronicle, May 16, 2009., Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  15. ^ "Προύσης Ελπιδοφόρος: "Το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο αγκαλιάζει όλα τα έθνη" Ηλεκτρονικό ταχυδρομείο - Εκτύπωση -"Romfea. 25 Ιουλίου 2011, Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  16. ^ "Albanian Orthodox Diocese" (PDF). Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America 2016 Yearbook. 2016. p. 183. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  17. ^ Tracy, Tom (December 3, 2014). "Some see unity vision reignited by pope, patriarch's gestures in Turkey". The Pilot. Pilot Media Group. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  18. ^ "Three things Pope Francis hopes to accomplish in Turkey," by Josephine Mckenna, The Washington Post, November 26, 2014., Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Meet the priest of Wall Street". Fox Business. 2015-11-05. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  20. ^ "Advocates call for removal of top Greek church official - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  21. ^ Harrison, Judy; Staff, B. D. N. "Advocacy group calls for removal of jailed priest's supervisor". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  22. ^ "Massachusetts Set to Overrule Past Foreclosures; Harbinger for ARM Industry", by Mike Bevel, Inside ARM, October 25, 2011, Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  23. ^ Registry of Deeds: Southern Essex District, Retrieved July 9, 2014. Archived 2014-04-17 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ a b Lemelson, Emmanuel. "How American Christians Should Respond to Islamic Extremism". The National Interest. Retrieved 2018-06-23.
  25. ^ Riley, Kevin (April 27, 2015). "This Hedge Fund Manager 'Wouldn't Be Surprised' If iPhone Units Hit 60 Million". Benzinga. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  26. ^ "Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson, founder and President of the Lantern Foundation - interview with CBS Radio Boston - Part 1". Retrieved 2018-06-23.
  27. ^ "Pope calls for an end to religious extremism," Fox News, December 5, 2014, Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  28. ^ a b "Meet the priest of Wall Street," Fox Business News, November 5, 2015, Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  29. ^ Угроза или шанс: затронет ли Россию торговая война США и Китая, retrieved 2018-06-23
  30. ^ "Lemelson Capital Management" official website, Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  31. ^ "SA author ranks first among hedge funds, again," Seeking Alpha, November 25, 2013, Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  32. ^ "Barron's Ranks the World's Top Performing Hedge Funds for April 2014," HFG Archived 2014-06-06 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  33. ^ "The priest who moonlights as a hedge-fund manager," Wall Street Journal video, October 26, 2015, Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  34. ^ "World Wrestling pummeled four out of five rounds this week", by Gary Strauss, USA Today, April 11, 2014, Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  35. ^ "Kulicke & Soffa shares surge after investor urges buyback," by Gary Strauss, USA Today, April 22, 2014., Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  36. ^ "WWE stock in sleeper hold as subscriptions stall," by Richard Morgan, New York Post, November 27, 2014, retrieved November 14, 2015.
  37. ^ "Why World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) stock finished down today," by Amanda Schiavo, The Street, April 11, 2014, retrieved November 14, 2015.
  38. ^ a b "Lemelson Capital Management: Profile In Wall Street Journal Was 'Extraordinarily Error-Laden' And A 'Directory Of Fallacies'". Benzinga. November 4, 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  39. ^ Matt Robinson (September 12, 2018). "Hedge Fund Priest Sued by SEC for Alleged Stock Manipulation". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  40. ^ Matt Robinson (March 18, 2016). "Hedge Fund Priest's Trades Probed by Wall Street Cop". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 13, 2018.

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