Longacre Pulls Plug On Flagships

Oct 11 2011 | 2:49pm ET

Longacre Fund Management is closing its largest hedge funds and preparing for a much smaller future.

The New York-based firm told investors yesterday that it would shutter its main funds in the wake of larger-than-expected redemptions. Clients apparently headed for the door as the firm lost 7% in August, wiping out its year-to-date gains.

Longacre was already in much-reduced circumstances by the beginning of the year, having seen its assets drop from a peak of about $3 billion to just $835 million. Late last year, the firm closed its office in London.

Longacre, a distressed specialist, had been seeking strategic partners to keep it afloat; the firm sold a minority stake to Goldman Sachs' Petershill private equity fund three years ago. It will continue to manage several smaller funds, offering clients the opportunity to transfer their investments in its larger funds to the surviving funds. But Longacre said that it will shrink significantly one way or the other, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Longacre was founded in 1998 by three Bear Stearns distressed debt traders, John Brecker, Vladimir Jelisavcic and Steven Weissman. The firm's flagships have managed positive returns in all but two years since then, and have annualized returns of 9.6% and 9.8%.

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