Elmasry's Independent Franchise Hedge Fund Hits $5B

Mar 15 2011 | 1:22am ET

Hedge fund Independent Franchise Partners is set to close its flagship stock fund after raising some US$5 billion in just two years.

The London-based firm, founded by former Morgan Stanley global franchise strategy head Hassan Elmasry, said its global fund will be closed to new investors by the end of this month.

"The global fund will be at, or about, US$5 billion by the time we close," John Kelly-Jones, a partner and portfolio manager at the firm, told Financial News. "Existing investors will be able to add to their holdings."

IFP's time to the US$5 billion level is one of the fastest in hedge fund history. Only two other funds have done so faster: former Harvard University endowment chief Jack Meyer's Convexity Capital, which launched with US$6 billion, and this year's launch of Duquesne Capital Management successor Point State Capital, with US$5 billion.

IFP, which invests in high-profile brands, had netted some US$2 billion by May of last year, thanks in part to investors jumping to the firm from Elmasry's former fund at Morgan Stanley, which managed US$9 billion before he left. And while new investors will now be barred from its global fund, the firm still has room for new clients.

"As a firm, we have plenty of capacity," Kelly-Jones said. "The U.S. fund, which we'll also soft-close if it reaches US$5 billion, has under US$100 million now."

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