Druckenmiller To Close Duquesne

Aug 18 2010 | 1:53pm ET

Stanley Druckenmiller is getting going.

The Duquesne Capital Management chief is closing his $12 billion hedge fund, citing the difficulty of maintaining above-average returns and the “heavy personal costs” of 30 years in the hedge fund business.

“While the joy of winning for clients is immense, for me the disappointment of each interim drawdown over the years has taken a cumulative toll that I cannot continue to sustain,” Druckenmiller wrote to clients today. “This is true even though to date we have delivered an unbroken record of positive annual performance which I hope will continue for 2010 as well.” Druckenmiller hopes, because the fund is down about 5% this year.

But while last year and 2008 didn’t break Druckenmiller’s 29-year winning streak, “I was dissatisfied with those results because they did not match my own, internal long-term standard;” Duquesne’s returns have average 30% annually since 1986.

Druckenmiller, who launched Duquesne off in 1980 and continued to manage it even while working at Dreyfus Corp. and Soros Fund Management, will wind down his fund next year and open a family office to manage his $2.8 billion fortune, Bloomberg News reports. One thing Druckenmiller’s billions will do is seed the hedge funds of Duquesne’s current portfolio managers who go into business for themselves, as Druckenmiller did 10 years ago.

Druckenmiller left Soros 10 years ago, after a dozen years and helping Soros make one of the most famous trades of all time, a US$10 billion bet that the British pound would be devalued, earning Soros $1 billion in a day.

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