Brian Hunter, best known for his bungling natural gas trades that caused the collapse of $9 billion hedge fund Amaranth Advisors, has landed a new job advising a commodities fund.
According to SparksSpread.com, Hunter, who has been splitting his time between setting up his own hedge fund and defending himself against regulators who are accusing him of market manipulation during his Amaranth days, has been hired as a consultant by private equity firm Peak Ridge Capital Group and will serve as an advisor on the firm’s new commodities fund.
It is the first commodities fund for Peak Ridge, which specializes in real estate and venture capital. In the new fund’s documentation, the firm reportedly reveals that the pending litigation against Hunter could indeed interfere with his work on the fund.
Hunter is expected to invest at least $10 million of his own money in the new vehicle.
There is no word on what has happened to Solengo Capital, the fund that Hunter and some of his ex-Amaranth buddies tried to set up earlier this year. That fund was also roiled in controversy. Its offering memorandum was leaked to the press and Solengo, in turn, threatened to sue various media outlets for publishing its contents, which turned out to be a public relations nightmare for the aspiring hedge fund firm.
It was one year ago this month that Hunter made a series of bad bets on natural gas prices, costing his employer over $6 billion. Amaranth and Hunter are now the subject of various investigations, including one by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which in July filed a civil enforcement action against Hunter and Amaranth in New York federal court claiming that Amaranth and Hunter conspired to manipulate natural gas futures prices, and then sought to cover up the scheme.
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