Highbridge Asia Chief Out, To Launch Own Hedge Fund

Mar 1 2011 | 12:48pm ET

Highbridge Capital Management has pulled the plug on its $1.4 billion Asia Opportunities Fund as manager Carl Huttenlocher prepares to leave the firm.

Huttenlocher plans to launch his own hedge fund after his exit from Highbridge. His departure, first reported by Dealbreaker.com, comes after two years in which he helped raise several hundred million dollars for Highbridge.

Highbridge has been racing to sell off most of Huttenlocher's portfolio, which stood at about $2 billion including some $550 million managed for the firm's flagship fund, since late last week when he informed his bosses of his plan to quit. Already, $1.4 billion of holdings have been sold, according to published reports.

The hedge fund will not completely shutter its Hong Kong operations. CEO Glenn Dubin and chief operating officer Todd Builione are in the city-state to assuage the fears of worried employees and to explain the firm's plans for Asia. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Asia team will now be led by two New York-based managers, Alec McAree and Mark Vanacore, and will manage about $300 million for the time being.

Highbridge investors were to be informed of Huttenlocher's decision and the liquidation of the Asia fund today.

Huttenlocher, who worked at Long-Term Capital Management and Citadel Investment Group before joining Highbridge, is barred from poaching any of his soon-to-be-former team members from the hedge fund, the Journal reports. Most if not all of that group will remain in place, Highbridge plans to tell clients, and may receive further allocations from the firm if circumstances warrant it.

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