Denner, Former Icahn Healthcare Chief, Readies Activist Hedge Fund

Apr 10 2013 | 10:31am ET

A former Carl Icahn lieutenant will launch a long-awaited healthcare-focused hedge fund within the next few months.

Alex Denner, who for five years led Icahn's healthcare investments, has founded Sarissa Capital Management in Greenwich, Conn. The firm's maiden hedge fund is expected to debut by next quarter, Bloomberg News reports.

Denner left Icahn Enterprises in 2011, after Icahn decided to return outside capital to investors. At the time, Denner reportedly planned to launch the fund by the end of the year; it is unclear why those plans changed.

Sarissa will be seeded by Meritage Group, and will take an activist approach to its portfolio, similar to that taken by Denner at Icahn. The new firm will feature a concentrated, long-based portfolio, with just five core positions generally accounting for more than half of its investments, and fewer than 20 positions in total.

Denner has built his firm with a number of former Icahn colleagues. Mayu Sris, a former analyst at Icahn Associates, will serve as managing director, and Harvard Medical School professor Richard Mulligan, who worked with Denner and Icahn on drugmaker investments, will serve as senior managing director. Mark DiPaolo, formerly a lawyer with Icahn, will also work at Sarissa.

Denner joined Icahn in 2006, having met the legendary corporate raider when both men found themselves long one very out-of-favor company, ImClone Systems, following its founder's guilty plea to insider-trading charges. Prior to working with Icahn, Denner was at Viking Global Investors and Morgan Stanley.


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