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Hedgemedia’s AltInvestment Global News Round-Up: GLG’s Coffey turns back on bonuses to launch his own business

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The attempt by GLG Partners to hold on to its star portfolio manager Greg Coffey has failed.

The attempt by GLG Partners to hold on to its star portfolio manager Greg Coffey has failed. The 36-year-old manager, who ran USD7bn in four emerging markets funds, has decided to part ways from the London firm in October to start his own firm. Coffey initially tendered his resignation on April 14 but withdrew it a day later on the apparent coaxing of his employer, which manages a total of USD24bn.

Coffey has forfeited all unvested shares and cash bonuses awarded to him under the company’s compensation plan. Departures of high-profile managers often result in a drop in assets as they typically result in investor defections. The GLG Emerging Markets Fund gained 51 per cent in 2007 and 60 per cent in 2006.

London-based Trafalgar Asset Managers has sold a 20 per cent stake to Petershill Fund, a Goldman Sachs’ USD1bn private equity vehicle, at a price rumoured to be between USD50m and USD100m. Lee Robinson, formerly of Tudor Capital, established Trafalgar along with Deutsche Bank alumnus Theo Phanos seven years ago, and the firm now has USD2.8bn in assets under management. Petershill also owns stakes in London firms Winton Capital and Capula.

Babson Capital, a member of the MassMutual Financial Group that manages more than USD108bn in assets, has acquired distressed debt manager Murray Capital. Led by founder Marti Murray, previously of Furman Selz, New York-based Murray Capital invests mainly in securities issued by companies in financial duress because of operational issues, balance sheet problems or litigation woes. It also invests in the newly-issued debt of companies emerging from bankruptcy or restructuring. Terms were not disclosed.

Activist hedge fund manager Jana Partners has bought an 8.2 per cent stake in MF Global and is now its third-largest shareholder. Rumours of liquidity woes hit the Hamilton, Bermuda-based brokerage firm’s stock in March, and the previous month it had to liquidate wheat contracts at a USD141.5m loss, related to a rogue trader. MF Global has retained Lazard to help resolve some bridge financing issues. Jana, which is headed by famed manager Barry Rosenstein and has USD8bn in assets under management, now owns 10 million shares of MF Global.

Man Investments’ Chicago-based subsidiary Glenwood Capital is looking at increasing investment opportunities in Asia as managers change their stance from long-biased to long/short amid changing market dynamics. Private credit, distressed plays, emerging market activists and equity funds with dedicated shorts are among strategies it is scouting in the area. Glenwood has had low exposure to Asia, mainly due to the lack of variety in investment plays. Asian hedge fund managers are predominantly long-biased equity investors.

BNY Mellon Asset Management has launched a global macro absolute return fund. Coefficient Global, a unit of its Standish Mellon Asset Management business that specialises in global fixed income and absolute return strategies, is managing the fund. Standish runs USD170bn of assets.

USD20bn Chicago hedge fund manager Citadel Investment Group has beefed up its team. It has hired Derek Kaufman, global head of fixed income in JP Morgan’s proprietary positioning group, who has become Citadel’s head of US fixed income. Another JP Morgan alumnus, Patrik Edsparr, joined last month as chief executive for its European operation and head of global fixed income.

Nick Taylor was hired last week from Credit Suisse to become Citadel’s new head of principal investments for Asia and Europe. David Noh will join in July as a senior managing director in Hong Kong from Merrill Lynch, where he was head of corporate principal investments for the Pacific rim region. Last month Kaveh Alamouti joined from Moore Capital as head of global macro investments.

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