Lasry Will Stay At Avenue, Drops From Running For Ambassadorship

Apr 24 2013 | 11:20am ET

Avenue Capital Group founder Marc Lasry will not be the next U.S. ambassador to France.

Lasry told investors in his hedge fund that he would remain at Avenue, ending speculation—seemingly confirmed last month when former President Bill Clinton said that Lasry would be going to Paris—that he would receive the prestigious appointment.

Two matters appear to have kept Lasry from moving in to the Hôtel de Pontalba, the home of the U.S. ambassador in Paris. As a "key man" for several Avenue funds, he would have needed a waiver from investors to leave the firm—and such a waiver did not appear to be forthcoming. Secondly, the White House had asked Lasry to avoid conflicts of interest. Lasry is an investor in Avenue's funds, including its European fund.

"I am very grateful to have been considered, but I would like the put the speculation to rest and let you know that I will be remaining at Avenue," Lasry wrote Tuesday. He assured clients that "Avenue is well-positioned to continue to protect and grow investors' assets, and I look forward to continuing to invest alongside all of you," he added.

Avenue had been preparing for Lasry's likely departure. In a letter to investors last month, Lasry's sister and Avenue co-founder Sonia Gardner announced that Richard Furst had been named Avenue's chief investment officer, a first for the firm.

Lasry has been a major donor to Democratic causes and to President Barack Obama.

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