Clarium Down 25% Last Year

Jan 11 2010 | 1:36pm ET

The average hedge fund returned more than 20% last year. Clarium Capital went the other way.

The New York-based hedge fund, led by PayPal founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel, plummeted 25% in 2009, a year dubbed by at least one industry index as hedge funds’ best in a decade. The fund, which was already down 16% through November, lost another 10% in December to cement the awful year.

Despite its second-straight losing year—Clarium was down 4.5% in 2008, when the average hedge fund lost double-digits—the firm is in no danger of closing shop, according to a spokesman.

“Clarium has amassed enough money in 2007 and 2008 to cover operating expenses in 2010 and beyond,” Jim O’Neill told the New York Post. O’Neill said that Thiel himself was “highly committed” to Clarium and that the firm sees brighter pastures in 2010. Clarium has also recently added former Man Investments head of portfolio strategy Patrick Kenary.

Meanwhile, the firm’s assets continue to evaporate. Once managing as much as $7.3 billion, Clarium is now down to just $1.33 billion. The firm’s assets under management stood at $1.6 billion at the end of the third quarter.

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