Clarium Quits New York After Less Than Two Years

Jun 18 2010 | 12:13pm ET

Ever since PayPal founder Peter Thiel moved his Clarium Capital Management to New York two years ago, just about everything has gone wrong for the hedge fund. So with his tail between his legs and a hedge fund $6 billion smaller, Thiel is picking up his firm and heading back to the West Coast.

Clarium is closing its New York office and moving all 55 of its staff back to San Francisco, where it was based prior to the September 2008 move, the New York Post reports. The hedge fund has done almost nothing but lose money since setting up shop on Bryant Park, with a 4.5% loss in 2008—all of it coming in the second half—and a 25% decline last year. And despite bucking most hedge funds last month with a 4% jump in May, Clarium remains down 6% in 2010.

The firm has also hemorrhaged assets since the Big Apple move, dropping from $7 billion to about $1 billion.

While the move will affect the staffers who have moved to New York over the past two years, Clarium spokesman James O’Neill said it wouldn’t affect the firm’s top investment team, including Thiel. O’Neill also sought to put a brave face on the retreat.

“Access to Silicon Valley thinkers has been important to Clarium’s thinking since inception, and we expect it to be even more important in the year ahead,” he told the tabloid.

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