Paulson Admits 'Mistake' In Conference Call

Oct 12 2011 | 6:45am ET

Paulson & Co. moved into damage-control mode yesterday during a conference call with investors, days after telling them that its flagship fund was down 47% this year.

The leaders of the New York-based firm, including founder John Paulson, took time to explain what happened in September, when all of its funds lost double-digits, and what they plan to do about it.

"We made a mistake," Paulson admitted. He said the firm would cut leverage in its largest fund, Advantage Plus, the one suffering from the 47% loss, and reduce its bullish stock bets that have cost it so dearly this year. Leverage in the fund will be reduced to 1.15 times from 1.5 times, and stock market exposure to about 45% of assets from 80%.

Paulson executives also said that if all clients withdrew the maximum amount they could this year, its assets could drop by 25%. But Paulson said he would not shutter the funds or return money to outside investors, a move he could make, given that half of the firm's assets are held by him and its employees.

Of course, some of those employees could be among the redeemers: Bonuses from 2008 will fully vest this year, and Paulson has abandoned its four-year vesting system for bonuses, Reuters reports.

Investors have until the end of the month to file redemption requests from Advantage Plus and a less-levered version.

Paulson also took the time to issue a statement about the Occupy Wall Street protest, which yesterday went on a walking tour of the Upper East Side homes of New York's billionaires, including Paulson, to protest about the impending lapse of the state's surcharge on millionaires.

"Instead of vilifying our most successful businesses, we should be supporting them and encouraging them to remain in New York City and continue to grow," he wrote in a statement. "The top 1% of New Yorkers pay over 40% of all income taxes, providing huge benefits to everyone in our city and state. Paulson & Co. and its employees have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in New York City and New York State taxes in recent years and have created over 100 high-paying jobs in New York City since its formation."


In Depth

Hedge Funds Take Interest In ‘Soft Deposits’

Nov 19 2014 | 11:56am ET

New York-based Winchester Equities, headed by Avi Benamu and Jack Hazan, funds soft...

Lifestyle

Cohen Buys $101 Million Sculpture

Nov 12 2014 | 9:17am ET

Steven Cohen was the sole bidder for a rare Alberto Giacometti sculpture at Sotheby...

Guest Contributor

Why The Big Money Is Going To Europe

Nov 14 2014 | 6:03am ET

Peer-to-peer lending was invented with the individual investor in mind. But despite...

 

Sponsored Content

    For Hedge Funds, Mastering Data Is Key To Success

    Nov 4 2014 | 9:45am ET

    Data management is important to every business, but for hedge funds, it is critical. FINalternatives recently asked Peter Sanchez, CEO of Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services, how fund managers can deal with the demands of managing data while at the same time remain transparent and abide by operational best practices. Read more…

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

November 2014 Cover

Building a better market

Reg NMS created a huge bifurcation in equity markets and while much of what has followed has been positive, in terms of lower fees and greater liquidity, many traders would like to see the market come...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.