Vinik Seeds Former Manager's New Firm

Oct 10 2013 | 8:53am ET

Like Julian Robertson and Stanley Druckenmiller before him, Jeffrey Vinik is putting some of his fortune to work seeding protégés.

Vinik has provided $20 million in financing and investment to Kopernik Global Investors, the new hedge fund founded by David Iben, the former head of Vinik Asset Management's value group. Iben joined Vinik A.M. less than a year before Vinik decided in May to close its doors.

Most of Kopernick's 28 staffers are Vinik A.M. veterans, Bloomberg News reports. Others include Paul Brodsky and Lee Quaintance, who merged their QB Asset Management into Kopernik, which is named for the famed astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

Vinik pledged $15 million to two Kopernik funds, money that is locked up until July 2015, and gave the firm a five-year, $5 million loan. Vinik's investment accounts for more than half of Kopernik's $29.5 million in assets; most of the rest comes from the firm's employees.

Kopernik will debut with three strategies: a global long-only value fund, and long/short equity fund and a real-asset fund.

Kopernik is based in Tampa, Fla., where Vinik moved shortly before closing his Boston-based firm to be closer to the sports teams he owns in the city.

Before joining Vinik A.M. last June, Iben worked at Nuveen Investments' Tradewinds unit.

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