Viking Hands More Money To Top Managers

Apr 12 2012 | 11:28am ET

Another top hedge fund manager is taking a step back from day-to-day money management.

Viking Global Investors' Andreas Halvorsen told investors yesterday that he would focus more on allocating capital while handing more money to the firm's more junior portfolio managers. The moves follow the departure of several senior portfolio managers and analysts over the last two years, including the departure last month of James Parsons.

Halvorsen said his new focus was the result of his need to "balance a limited supply of capital with demand from a highly-accomplished team." The most highly-accomplished members of that team will now have 31% more money to play with: Halvorsen said he had increased the aggregate credit lines for its "next four most experienced portfolio managers" by 31% to $7.2 billion. The following three also had their credit lines increased by 50% to $1.5 billion, Reuters reports.

Halvorsen wrote that Paul Enright, Ning Jin, Hani Sabbagh and Scott Zinober "are at the center of idea generation" and will now have the ability to "optimally size most of these ideas themselves."

With those four handling 60% of Viking's assets, the firm's top two portfolio managers, Tom Purcell and Dan Sundheim, will focus on Viking's "very best ideas and scale them appropriately."

Halvorsen also said that the $16.7 billion firm is up 5.4% this year. He rued his lack of aggressive investing in a quarter that saw the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rise 12%, and noted that returns were depressed by a "lack of meaningful short winners."


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