Sprott Down Over 50%, Will Step Down In '14

Dec 13 2013 | 10:10am ET

John Paulson's belief in gold has cost him a very great deal of money—but it may have cost Eric Sprott his job.

Sprott, arguably Canada's best-known hedge fund manager, has also doggedly stuck with his bet on the precious metal—which, in turn, has stuck investors in Sprott Inc.'s flagship with losses in excess of 50% this year, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sprott, whose faith in silver has also proven a loser, has seen his fund lose double-digits in three years running, and his assets under management drop from US$3 billion to US$350 million.

And, as of 2015, they'll drop to $0: Sprott's namesake company is phasing him out. While Sprott will remain chairman of the firm he founded in 1981, by the end of next year he'll be relegated to "chief cheerleader duties," Sprott CFO Peter Grosskopf told the Journal.

"Nobody here likes me to use that word 'turnaround,' but let's face it: That's what we're doing," Grosskopf said. The move follows the firm's decision last year to add co-chief investment officers to all of Sprott's funds.

Sprott Inc.'s assets have fallen to US$7 billion from US$10 billion, almost entirely due to losses on gold and redemptions. Despite pushing Sprott aside, the firm will continue to focus on gold, but with a new emphasis on risk management, Grosskopf said.

Still, it's been a startling fall for the industry stalwart: Sprott posted his best return in 2010—41.2%—just before his luck turned. Despite the losses over the past three years, the flagship maintains a 5.8% annualized return since inception.


In Depth

High Time For A Cannabis Hedge Fund?

Sep 30 2014 | 7:07am ET

Launching a hedge fund is always a gamble, but Leslie Bocskor's decision to launch...

Lifestyle

Griffin Donates $1M To Rauner's Illinois Gov. Campaign

Sep 22 2014 | 9:29am ET

Hedge fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin definitely has a dog in this fight. The Citadel...

Guest Contributor

Appraisal Ratio Key To Evaluating Hedge Funds And Other New Investments

Sep 29 2014 | 3:07pm ET

As a former finance professor Peter Hecht experiences heartburn every time he hears...

 

Videos

Editor's Note

    Must Attend Hedge Fund Charity Events For October

    Sep 30 2014 | 9:29am ET

    The crisp Autumnal days of October are upon us, and so are a few of the hedge fund industry’s favorite charitable events. If you have never been to Rocktoberfest, well, you are missing out. And for a quieter evening of sipping and socializing, stop by HFC’s Wine Soiree. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

September 2014 Cover

High frequency market making

High frequency trading is not evil, it is not a conspiracy and it really is not new; it is the natural evolution of the professional trading community making markets, providing liquidity and hopefully...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.