Touradji Shakes Up Firm Amidst Losses

Sep 16 2011 | 4:59am ET

Facing its first-ever losing year, Touradji Capital Management is making some big changes—starting at the top.

Firm found Paul Touradji told investors yesterday that he was returning to trading full-time. He said he'd hand off day-to-day management of the New York-based commodity specialist to a business management team.

And it will be a new business management team: CFO Tom Dwan and president and chief operating officer Sang Lee will leave the firm. Touradji wrote that he is seeking "world-class" executives to replace them. He added that the firm would seek additional support staff to boost its infrastructure, in a bid to attract the sort of institutional investors that Touradji has turned down in the past.

Touradji's Global Resources Fund is down 17.4% this year. Touradji said he isn't happy about that and, despite that fact that the firm's "long-term record continues to be superb," changes are needed.

"Simply put, the daily operation of the firm must go from being a major time and energy drain on me to an integral support function for our entire team, allowing us to concentrate our full attention on investment performance," he wrote.

As a result of the changes, Touradji said the firm would give investors in the $1.6 billion fund a chance to cash out in spite of any lockup agreements, although he could barely conceal his contempt for those who want "to sit on the sidelines" during his firm's transition.

News of Touradji's plans was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Despite the implicit criticism of them, both Dwan and Lee said they were supportive of Touradji's plans. The former will leave this month to join another firm, while Lee will remain on during a transition period to assist Ed Min, Touradji's controller, who is taking over from Dwan.


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