Hedge Fund Pioneer Porter Dies At 75

Apr 23 2014 | 9:23am ET

A. Alex Porter, a protégé of the first hedge fund manager and an industry pioneer himself, has died.

Porter passed away on Friday at his North Carolina farm after a battle with colon cancer. He was 75.

Porter worked at A.W. Jones & Co., recognized as the first modern hedge fund, before founding his own firm, Porter Management, in 1976. That firm survives today at Amici Capital with $2.2 billion in assets under management.

Amici’s flagship fund generated annualized returns of about 20% during Porter’s stewardship, which ended in 1994 when he handed off management responsibilities to Paul Orlin.

“Describing Alex as a man of humility does not really do justice to his grace and selflessness,” Orlin wrote to investors. “Alex cared. He cared about his colleagues, our investors, and I know he felt fortunate to call many of them his friends. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find another in the hedge fund business with such an extraordinary record of success and such an insatiable desire to make those around him succeed.”

Porter joined A.W. Jones in 1967. His start was not auspicious: As a probationary hire, he lost a hypothetical $1 million, but Jones gave him another shot. In 1972, he moved to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Porter’s only marriage ended after seven years and produced no children. He is survived by his sister and three nieces.


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