See GRAPEVINE on Back Page
Clinton Deploys Activist Team for SPAC Plays
Clinton Group is expanding its role as a sponsor of special purpose acquisition
Investors in a $75 million blank-check company that Clinton formed last year
were sitting on a 40%-plus gain as of June 21, following a merger last month with
tableware maker EveryWare Global. The New York hedge fund operator, led by
George Hall, now envisions launching a series of SPACs at a rate of one every 12-18
months, starting with a follow-up offering in the second half of this year to raise
another $75 million or more.
to analyzing target companies for blank-check takeovers, the firm has relationships
with the top underwriters of SPAC flotations, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, as well as
is run by Tom Baldwin, who previously played a key role in the leveraged buyout and
See CLINTON on Page 6
CQS Alums Prep Credit-Derivatives Vehicle
Two former CQS credit-product traders are starting their own fund-management
Working through their newly formed Trignom Capital in London, Surojit Roy
Choudhury and Yunkang Liu are in the late stages of lining up initial backing from
two asset-management shops. They’re also working to supplement that capital with
contributions from additional investors, with the goal of launching a debut vehicle
by the end of the third quarter with $150 million.
Trignom’s marketing efforts started in the past two months, encompassing large
institutional investors, family offices and wealthy individuals in Europe and Asia.
Choudhury, Liu and marketing chief Virender Khanna already have visited a num-
ber of potential backers in the U.K and Germany — as well as Switzerland, where
they’re working with an outside marketing specialist.
The planned fund would trade liquid credit derivatives in the U.S. and Europe,
See CQS on Page 6
Long-Only Offering Takes Shape at Mark
Mark Asset Management is marketing a long-only fund.
The New York firm plans to launch its Mark Equity Opportunities Fund in Sep-
tember with $25 million to $30 million from founder Morris Mark. It would start
accepting outside capital about a month later.
Morris Mark, whose firm runs $400 million of investor capital, would manage
the vehicle alongside portfolio manager Andrew Silverberg. He’s planning to assem-
ble a portfolio of about 50 stocks, with the top-20 names accounting for some 75%
of the holdings.
Mark is best known for his growth-oriented approach to stock picking.
He eschews the value-focused disciplines of most long/short equity specialists
to seek out long-biased investments in companies whose annual earnings are
growing by at least 20% thanks to strong management and favorable business
See MARK on Page 5
2 Pieces In Place for Healthcare Offering
3 Insider to Lead NY Common Book
3 Abydos Stung by Commodity Rout
3 Tech Firm Offers Cyber Protection
4 Eze Castle Eyes Next Step in Storage
4 Capula Installs New Chief Executive
5 Illumination Expands Its Repertoire
5 Macro Trader Set for Launch
5 BlackGold Enlists Marketing Help
4 INFLOWS/OUTFLOWS BY STRATEGY
Fortress Investment has hired a trader
away from Bank of America. While the
exact role Craig Reynolds will play at
Fortress is unclear, it appears he will be
working on global-macro investments
after he arrives in the next few months.
Reynolds had joined BofA’s Merrill Lynch
unit in 2011 as head of a group that
trades interest-rate derivatives in North
America. Before that, he worked at Gold-
man Sachs and Soros Fund Management.
Whitebox Advisors has hired a senior
researcher to cover credit products. Amit
Patel joined the Minneapolis firm last
month from Avenue Capital, the hedge
fund shop led by the brother-and-sister
team of Sonia Gardner and Marc Lasry.
Whitebox, the multi-strategy shop run
by Andrew Redleaf, was overseeing $5.5
billion of regulatory assets as of yearend
Former Morgan Stanley unit PDT Partners
has a new head of investor relations. Lenny
JUNE 26, 2013
Insider to Lead NY Common Book
New York Common Fund has appointed an insider to oversee
its main hedge fund portfolio.
Anastasia Titarchuk was promoted to director of the $160.4
billion pension system’s “absolute return strategies” book this
week, filling a post that had remained vacant since Peter Carey
left the organization in 2010.
New York Common’s absolute return strategies basket
weighs in at $5.2 billion and has room to grow, given that the
retirement plan’s 4% allocation for such products leaves it with
more than $1 billion that could be put to work. The portfolio
consists mostly of hedge funds and funds of funds spanning the
credit-product, global-macro, managed-futures, distressed-
debt and emerging-market sectors. It is kept separate from
investments in long/short equity funds, which reside in a
broader bucket for stocks.
Titarchuk had been working on the absolute-return book
as a senior investment officer since joining New York Com-
mon in September 2011 — in one of the final appointments
made by former chief investment officer Raudline Etienne
before her resignation that year. Titarchuk previously led an
equity-derivatives sales desk at Bank of America, and before
that was at Barclays and J.P. Morgan.
Her hiring at New York Common came as part of an effort to
replace several personnel who had left the pension’s investment
team. Among them was Carey, who had amassed $4 billion of
hedge fund investments for the organization before moving on
to Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital.
It’s unclear why it took so long for New York Common to fill
Carey’s post. The lag is particularly puzzling considering signals
from Vicki Fuller, who arrived in August as Etienne’s replace-
ment, that the absolute-return team needed someone in charge.
Fuller said in an internal memorandum on June 25 that
Titarchuk would work closely with Aarti Verma, an investment
officer who joined New York Common in 2011 with a focus on
long/short equity funds.
New York Common’s absolute-return portfolio gained 8%
for the fiscal year ended March 31. The most recent addition to
the basket came as an expansion of an existing position, with
the pension tacking $70 million onto an investment in Discov-
ery Capital’s macro-focused Discovery Global Opportunities
Partners on Feb. 1.
New York Common is overseen by the state comptroller,
Abydos Stung by Commodity Rout
Abydos Capital, a commodity-focused fund shop founded by
former BlueGold Capital partner Jean-Louis Le Mee, is retooling
its portfolio after a 7.5% drop in its first full year of trading.
Le Mee, whose specialty is mining and energy stocks, has
struggled amid a broad decline in commodity markets, with
metals prices down sharply since the start of the year. Abydos’
hedge fund has lost 5.7% year to date — matching the 5.6%
drop in the S&P GSCI total-return index. For the same period,
the All Metals component of that index plunged 19.9%.
“It’s an interesting time for commodities,” said an investor
familiar with Le Mee’s strategy. “The emerging markets-driven
supercycle appears to be ending just as rates in the U.S. may be
London-based Abydos launched in July 2012 with $39 mil-
lion, then rose to $60 million before losses began to take a toll.
The firm currently manages about $35 million.
hurt by a combination of weakening demand from China and
other once-hot emerging markets and increasing energy sup-
plies from the U.S. Other commodity fund operators struggling
with losses include Toronto-based Sprott Asset Management,
whose performance has been dragged down by investments in
“Miners have gotten clocked,” said a portfolio manager at a
In response to the rout, Le Mee recently reduced Abydos’
exposure to metals while increasing its investments in oil and
timber. “My message now to contrarian, forward-thinking
investors is simple: Valuations in the space have hit extreme
lows, and a remarkable opportunity has emerged in some com-
modities (oil, uranium, timber),” Le Mee said.
Le Mee opened shop in April 2012, around the time Blue-
Gold co-founders Pierre Andurand and Dennis Crema notified
investors they were unwinding what had once been a $2 bil-
lion-plus firm following sharp losses the year before. Le Mee
was a founding partner at BlueGold with responsibility for
investments in commodity stocks.
Andurand re-emerged earlier this year with the launch of a
new fund shop called Andurand Capital.
Tech Firm Offers Cyber Protection
A cyber-security specialist will soon begin marketing tech-
nology specifically designed to protect hedge fund computer
systems from hackers.
TopPatch, a New York firm, plans to roll out its Hedge Fund
Security Monitoring Service in mid-July with a price tag of
$995 per month. The software will monitor a fund operator’s
computer networks and alert management in the event of a
Hedge funds increasingly are the targets of computer hack-
ers looking for proprietary information about the funds’ trad-
ing strategies, often with an eye toward front-running their
positions. Hackers also may try to extract the names of wealthy
investors, along with their bank-account numbers.
“Hedge funds have specific requirements,” said TopPatch
chief executive Chiranjeev Bordoloi, who founded the firm in
In addition to developing software, TopPatch advises asset
managers, prime brokers and hedge fund law firms on a range
of cyber-security issues.
Bordoloi previously worked at IBM, where his clients
included Fortune 500 companies, federal agencies and non-
June 26, 2013 3Hedge Fund
Eze Castle Eyes Next Step in Storage
A prominent supplier of computer technology to hedge fund
operations believes the prices of solid-state drives have fallen
to the point where they have become an appealing option for
small and mid-size managers.
Eze Castle Integration has yet to start recommending cus-
tomers switch to solid-state storage from traditional hard-disk
drives, but it’s thinking about doing so by yearend. The New
York firm would install the new components both on its own
servers and in customers’ in-house computers.
Compared to standard hard drives, which rely on spinning
disks, solid-state products are smaller, exponentially faster,
more energy efficient and have no moving parts. Although the
technology already has caught on in other industries and with
some larger alternative-investment shops, it has gone largely
unused by smaller fund managers.
Eze Castle sees that as a potential opportunity, given that
most of the hedge funds on its client list run $100 million to
$750 million. The firm, which offers cloud-based storage and
local installations of computer hardware to more than 650
investment managers, particularly is keeping an eye on high-
frequency and algorithmic traders. “It’s going to be a very cost-
effective, high-performance way in which storage will interact
with the servers,” managing director Bob Guilbert said. “The
price is dropping and as the price drops, people will use it.”
The price of commercial solid-state storage has fallen steeply in
recent years to as low as $3 per gigabyte, compared to about $0.50
for traditional hard drives.
Arialytics, which helps hedge funds design and implement
quantitative trading programs, uses solid state drives in some
applications. Founder David Marra said it’s difficult to justify the
cost for all of his clients’ storage needs, but sees big advantages
for high-frequency traders that need to access small amounts
of information almost instantly.
Capula Installs New Chief Executive
Debt-fund operator Capula Investment has promoted Steve
Gregornik to chief executive, freeing up co-chief investment
officer David Gu to focus on asset management.
Co-chief investment officer Yan Huo advised investors of the
move in a letter last week. Gregornik was elevated from his
previous role as chief operating officer, allowing Gu to relin-
quish the chief executive title. The moves cap a 2-year-old reor-
ganization designed to solidify the London firm’s operational
infrastructure so Gu and Huo can spend more time on the
investment side of the business.
Separately, Capula last month launched a much-anticipated
European special-situations fund with senior portfolio manager
Steve Zander at the helm. The fund invests in senior secured
loans to mid-size European companies, typically buying the
obligations from banks. The offering is a hybrid between a hedge
fund and a private equity vehicle, with a three-year investment
period followed by a term of up to four years to exit the positions.
Gregornik joined Capula last year from Bank of America,
where he served in the capital-markets group of the bank’s Mer-
rill Lynch unit. He is credited with improving Capula’s technol-
ogy and compliance operations, as well as human resources.
Capula, founded in 2005, manages about $10 billion. Mea-
sured by gross assets, it ranks 36th among SEC-registered fund
operators with $23 billion, according to Hedge Fund Alert’s
June 26, 2013 4Hedge Fund
Inflows/Outflows by Strategy
Hedge funds ($Mil.)
Asia/Pacific long/short equity $2.1
Bear market equity -3.4
China long/short equity -20.1
Convertible arbitrage 246.8
Debt arbitrage 1,397.6
Distressed securities -341.5
Diversified arbitrage 606.1
Emerging markets long-only equity 311.1
Emerging markets long/short equity -620.4
Equity market neutral -630.2
Europe long/short equity -1,201.5
Event driven -956.1
Global long/short equity -2,148.0
Global macro 3,066.0
Long-only debt -33.3
Long-only equity -1,092.2
Long-only other -646.8
Long/short debt 1,187.9
Merger arbitrage 1,311.8
Systematic futures -4,976.3
U.S. long/short equity 379.3
U.S. small cap long/short equity -552.1
Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr
Net Flows for Industry ($Bil.)
Source: Morningstar Direct Fund Flows
Illumination Expands Its Repertoire
Mortgage-backed securities specialist Illumination Asset
Management is crafting a fund that would invest mainly in
The Los Angeles firm, led by former Countrywide executive
Todd Sherer, is among a growing number of mortgage-focused
fund operators eyeing the servicing business amid rising inter-
est rates. That’s because higher rates would slow the pace of
mortgage refinancings and thus boost the revenue potential of
rights to service existing mortgages.
Illumination, which currently manages about $200 million
mostly in a portfolio of non-agency mortgage bonds, would use
its new vehicle to buy mortgage-servicing rights from banks and
other holders. The firm’s initial marketing efforts have led to a
sizable commitment from an unidentified institutional investor.
The fund also would invest in derivatives and other mort-
gage-related products. A launch is planned for the third
quarter. The initiative first was reported by sister publication
Cerberus Capital and Seer Capital are among the other hedge
fund firms pursuing investments in mortgage-servicing rights.
Illumination’s fund-raising prospects have been helped by
the performance of its IAM Credit Opportunities Master Fund,
which gained 10.7% in the first five months of the year. The
fund, which launched last September, was up 16% at yearend.
Sherer founded Illumination last year with Christopher
Gaughan, a former Bear Stearns executive. Sherer previously
spent four years as a portfolio manager at mortgage-bond fund
operator Dalton Investments, and before that clocked six years
Macro Trader Set for Launch
A portfolio manager who left Nomura last year is ready to
launch his own hedge fund.
Working through his London-based MacroHedge, Jawad
Koradia plans to start trading the vehicle next month with $30
million from a single backer.
MacroHedge will employ a global-macro strategy. Koradia
started the firm last August, a month after leaving his job as a
portfolio manager focused on macro investments at Nomura.
He had been at the Japanese bank since 2009, and before that
worked for a year at Tudor Investment.
Koradia also has worked as a proprietary trader at Citigroup
and spent time as an equity-research salesman and derivatives-
trading analyst at Goldman Sachs.
BlackGold Enlists Marketing Help
Placement agent Eaton Partners has landed a contract from
The assignment focuses on raising additional capital for the
Houston firm’s main hedge fund, an event-driven vehicle called
BlackGold Opportunity Fund that has produced an average
annual return of 31.9% since its launch in 2009. That entity was
running $140.2 million of equity and leverage at the start of
BlackGold, which invests throughout the capital structure
mainly in U.S. energy companies, runs some $700 million
overall. The operation is led by founders Erik Dybesland and
Eaton is overseen by founder Charles Eaton. The Rowayton,
Conn., firm raises money for a range of alternative-investment
Mark... From Page 1
The planned fund would apply a long-only spin to that phi-
losophy, borrowing a strategy that Mark Asset Management
already has been following through various separate accounts
since 1997. Those investments so far have produced an average
annual return of 15.1%, beating the 9.1% gain posted by the
S&P 500 index during the same span.
While the commingled offering would trade like a mutual
fund — with no shorting, hedging or leverage — its liquidity
terms and fees would resemble those of a hedge fund. Instead
of the daily withdrawals allowed by most mutual funds, for
example, Mark Asset Management will only permit investors
to redeem monthly. When it comes to fees, investors would be
able to choose between one share class that takes 1% of assets
and 20% of profits, and another with a 2% management charge
but no performance levy.
There’s also a so-called founders share class, with lower fees,
available to clients who contribute the first $100 million to the
an expensive and illiquid mutual fund.
Similar long-only hedge funds have been attracting limited
partners, reflecting a willingness among backers to pay a bit
extra out of confidence in their managers’ alpha. Take Viking
Global, which stopped accepting new investors for its then-
$4.6 billion Viking Long Fund in April. Around the same time,
Impala Asset Management began marketing a vehicle called
Mark Asset Management’s long-only offering follows a
shift in the firm’s marketing approach. The outfit started in
1986 with $25 million from an undisclosed family, and even-
tually grew to $2 billion based largely on investment gains
by its flagship Mark Partners Fund. But it was left with a far-
smaller pool of capital when the family and some other back-
ers pulled their support in 2002. It was only with the arrival
of former Morgan Stanley marketing specialist Matt Robinson
earlier this year that the shop started seeking outside contri-
butions for Mark Partners, a highly long-biased vehicle that
nonetheless takes some short positions and employs leverage.
Silverberg started in 2012. Before founding Mark Asset
Management, Morris Mark worked at Goldman Sachs under
Leon Cooperman — who would go on to run stock-fund opera-
tor Omega Advisors.
June 26, 2013 5Hedge Fund
Clinton ... From Page 1
subsequent initial public offering of Morton’s Restaurant Group.
Working with him are two other executives closely involved in
the firm’s activist-investment operations: president Greg Taxin
and portfolio manager Joseph De Perio.
Clinton manages about $100 million via activist vehicles,
including Clinton Relational Opportunity Partnership. While
those vehicles target underperforming companies with turn-
around potential, the firm’s SPAC efforts are focused on offering
private companies an alternative to conducting an IPO or put-
ting the business up for sale. Although EveryWare is controlled
by private equity sponsor Monomoy Capital, the primary targets
for blank-check deals are family-run businesses that otherwise
might find it too costly to tap the public market.
Clinton’s foray into SPACs began early last year, when it raised
$75 million for a blank-check company called ROI Acquisition.
agers, including AQR Capital, Basso Capital, Fir Tree Partners and
Highbridge Capital. Clinton’s activist team scrutinized dozens of
private companies before signing an agreement with New York-
based Monomoy in January. The transaction closed on May 21, at
which point ROI was renamed EveryWare Global and the stock
began trading under the ticker symbol EVRY.
The deal gave Clinton a 17% stake in EveryWare, while the
hedge funds and other public-market investors collectively own
16%. Monomoy retains a 68% stake, which it owns via its Mono-
moy Capital Partners and Monomoy Capital Partners 2 vehicles.
The firm also received $90 million of cash.
The stock, which closed at $10.02 on May 21, has risen 23% to
close at $12.31 on June 24. Including warrants, initial buyers of the
Clinton, which was founded in 1991, currently runs about
$2 billion — most of it via collateralized debt obligations. Its
hedge fund business encompasses multi-strategy and statisti-
cal-arbitrage vehicles, as well as the activist strategy and a fund
that invests in community-bank stocks.
CQS ... From Page 1
would employ a real-time risk-management system designed
by Choudhury and Liu.
same time. He had been an executive director focusing on quanti-
tative credit-derivative investments in the bank’s Hong Kong office
since2011,followingfiveyearsatCQS.Beforethat,hewas a quan-
titative analyst at ABN Amro, UBS and Dresdner Kleinwort.
Khanna, formerly a business-structuring consultant, shares
the title of partner with Choudhury and Liu. In addition to his
marketing duties, he’s leading the business side of Trignom.
The firm expects to hire another operations specialist and a
researcher in the coming weeks.
June 26, 2013 6Hedge Fund
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Management company Strategy Service providers Launch
See Page 2
Equity: long/short Prime brokers: Goldman Sachs,
Bank of America
Law firm: Shartsis Friese
Auditor: Rothstein Kass
Administrator: Stone Coast Fund
Mark Equity Opportunities Fund
Domicile: U.S. & Cayman Islands
See Page 1
Morris Mark and Andrew
Mark Asset Management,
Equity: long-only Prime broker: Goldman Sachs
Law firm: Willkie Farr
Administrator: Morgan Stanley
Sept. 1 $25-30
See Page 5
Global macro July 1 $30
See Page 1
Surojit Roy Choudhury and
June 26, 2013 7Hedge Fund
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June 26, 2013 8Hedge Fund
Carr joined the New York firm two weeks
ago from the capital-introduction area
of Barclays, where he covered quantita-
tive managers. PDT — which stands for
Process Driven Trading — is a quant
pioneer that previously ran proprietary
capital for Morgan Stanley. Regulatory
pressures prompted the bank to spin off
the unit last July with chief executive
Peter Muller at the helm. It was running
$7.6 billion of regulatory assets as of
Credit-product analyst Keshav Lall
started in the Chicago headquarters
of multi-strategy shop Balyasny Asset
Management last week. Lall previ-
ously was a senior analyst at Long-
wood Credit. Balyasny, led by Dmitry
Balyasny, had $3.3 billion under
management as of a few months ago.
Cadian Capital has picked up three staff-
ers in the past month or so. Ross Shubak
joined the value-oriented equity shop
from Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers as
an analyst covering consumer-company
stocks. Also on board will be healthcare-
stock specialist Jay Kim, who left his
job at Moore Capital in recent weeks.
The move will reunite Kim with analyst
Susan Lee, another former Moore staffer
who started at Cadian about a month
ago. Kim and Lee had joined Moore
together in 2010 from Citigroup.
Semper Capital, which until last month
went by the name UCM Partners, has
lost its chief compliance officer. Martin-
nette Witrick left the New York firm
on May 6, destination unknown. Her
duties have since been absorbed by
general counsel Ria Davis, who now
holds dual roles. Semper runs $1.1
billion, including leverage, via a variety
of funds and separate accounts with a
focus on fixed-income products.
KG Funds Management has hired a direc-
tor of investor relations. Sarah Colvin
joined the New York firm this month,
coming from a managing director post
at Bristol Investment — an alternatives
shop that invests in public and private
companies. KG, founded in 2008 by Ike
Kier and Ilya Zaides, employs an event-
driven strategy focused on equities. The
$75 million firm has gained an average
of 19.2% per year.
Recruiting specialist Craig Tisdale has
a new job. Tisdale joined New York
executive-search shop Clear Point Group
in May as a partner. That’s the same
title he held at previous employer iFind
Group, which he left early this year.
Deutsche Bank has signed a salesman to
pitch its research to hedge fund manag-
ers. David Gingeleskie, who left his job
at quantitative investor Susquehanna
International last week, will assume his
new post in Deutsche’s New York office
soon. His coverage areas include port-
folio managers and analysts at equity-
fund operators, along with personnel at
credit-oriented shops with the capacity
to invest in stocks.
TeamCo Advisers picked up Britt Ivy as a
senior marketing associate last month.
Ivy previously worked at Actualize
Consulting and R.G. Niederhoffer Capital.
San Francisco-based TeamCo runs $1.3
billion on behalf of pension funds, all
deployed to hedge funds.