Sunday, 29 May 2016
Last updated 2 days ago
May 20 2011 | 1:14pm ET
Thomas Bruderman, the former Fidelity Investments star trader whose infamous 2003 bachelor party made headlines and remade gift-giving rules on Wall Street, is starting over with a hedge fund.
Bruderman and two other partners have launched VP Theta in Farmington, Conn. The new firm has raised about $100 million, including capital pledged by the partners themselves, Reuters reports.
The new firm is a value-oriented quantitative specialist—"VP" stands for "value portfolio"—investing in equity derivatives. The three partners, Bruderman, childhood friend Andrew Stone and one other, plan to begin marketing the fund in the fall.
Bruderman has worked to put his legendary bachelor party—and the ugly fallout from it—behind him, although he acknowledges that he hasn't heard the end of it from friends and colleagues.
"I deserve it," he told Reuters. "I do not begrudge anyone from having a few laughs at my expense."
Laughs aren't the only thing had at Bruderman's expense: Last month, he finally settled Securities and Exchange Commission charges stemming from the party and other gifts and travel he received from brokers seeking Fidelity's business for $350,000, although he did not admit or deny wrongdoing. He also acknowledges that he had to leave Fido under pressure in 2004 as a result.
"The whole affair was nicely salacious and there was plenty of free press to be had," he said. "The recent headlines have made it abundantly clear that there are issues out there which clearly dwarf this one."
"Dwarf," perhaps, was a poor choice of words: One of the headline-grabbing aspects of the 2003 shindig on a yacht in Miami was the presence of midget entertainers alongside the strippers, although Stone, who admits he arranged the midgets, denies one widely-reported feature of the party: midget-tossing.
The party cost $75,000, paid for primarily by Jefferies Group and planned by Jefferies broker Kevin Quinn. Quinn himself has since gotten into the hedge fund business, launching Cottage Capital in 2003.
The bachelor party preceded Bruderman's marriage to former Tyco CEO and convicted felon Dennis Kozlowski's daughter. The two have since divorced, and Bruderman is remarried, this time without the hoopla.
"I felt like I already had that chapter of my life," Bruderman said.