Viking Co-Founder And CIO Quits

Apr 15 2010 | 10:58am ET

David Ott, the co-founder of hedge fund Viking Global Investors, is retiring from his post as chief investment officer.

Greenwich, Conn.-based Viking said that Ott’s portfolio has been handed off to other managers and that some of his positions have been liquidated. Andreas Halvosen, who co-founded the $12 billion firm with Ott in 1999, said the sell-off had a “minimal impact” on Viking.

Investors in the Viking fund will have an opportunity to redeem due to Ott’s departure.

Ott will remain as an adviser to Viking, Halvorsen told investors in the firm’s quarterly letter. Halvorsen said Ott was stepping down to spend more time with his family.

Ott’s retirement was first reported by the Wall Street blog

Halvorsen also reported a disappointing first quarter, with Viking dropping 0.1% while the average hedge fund is up about 2%. He blamed the fund’s financial investments—its shorts did better than its longs—and said it had eliminated its entire position in MasterCard, which has been its third-largest position as recently as the third quarter.

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