Balestra To Cut Ties With Top Portfolio Managers

Apr 15 2014 | 12:24pm ET

Balestra Capital founder James Melcher is reasserting his control over the hedge fund he founded 35 years ago.

The New York-based firm yesterday said that Melcher's two co-portfolio managers would leave the firm at the end of June. Following the departures of Norman Cerk and Matthew Luck, Melcher will once again serve as the sole portfolio manager at the firm, which manages $1.64 billion, CNBC reports.

The exits of Cerk and Luck come amidst difficulties for the macro fund, which is down 7.8% this year. The fund, which returned 7.82% last year, a fraction of the return posted by the broader markets, also lost 6.08% in 2012, after nearly tripling in 2007 and adding a further 45.8% in 2008.

"Over the last few months, it became increasingly clear that we need a single voice and vision regarding the future of the firm and the portfolio management of Balestra Capital Partners," the firm wrote to investors.

Cerk, who serves as Balestra's head trader, has been with the firm since 1997, two years before the firm's eponymous fund debuted. Luckett joined Balestra in 2004 and leads its portfolio strategy, research and risk.

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