Ex-Morgan Stanley President Cruz's Hedge Fund Struggles

Mar 17 2011 | 2:02pm ET

Former top Morgan Stanley executive Zoe Cruz is finding the hedge fund business an unforgiving one.

Less than a year after launching its first two hedge funds, Cruz's Voras Capital Management has already closed one amidst fundraising difficulties, the New York Post reports. The New York-based firm is also having trouble holding on to staff, according to the tabloid.

Richard Bani, the firm's CFO, is planning to leave Voras, and the hedge fund has lost its head of marketing and investor relations. And, after pulling the plug on its credit fund, both that fund's manager, Ellen Brunsberg, and corporate bond specialist David Markus chose to leave the firm.

Voras has raised about $200 million, but has struggled to raise money since the funds debuted in August. And with the credit fund getting just one-third of that money, it didn't have the "critical mass" it needed, a source told the Post.

"As credit has rallied over the last several years there was little appetite for long-term lockups in a credit fund, so Voras is closing its credit fund with a  vast majority of credit investors moving to the Voras Macro fund, which continues to grow and is performing with its peers," a spokesman told the newspaper. Cruz herself manages the macro fund.

The spokesman also said that the departures from the firm "are associated with the closing of the credit fund."

Cruz had been co-president at Morgan Stanley and was widely seen as a possible CEO candidate. But she left the firm four years ago after a trading desk she oversaw lost $4 billion in the subprime mortgage crisis.

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