Spinnerhawk Spirals Out of Business

Nov 8 2007 | 11:07am ET

Dallas-based Spinnerhawk Capital Management, an energy-focused hedge fund shop, last month closed its doors after only two years in business. The firm, which managed about $20 million, has returned all assets to investors and its two principals have left to pursue their own interests.

However, unlike many other hedge fund closures, Spinnerhawk’s fate was not the result of redemptions amidst massive drawdowns, according to former Chief Investment Officer Jim Wicklund. Wicklund said the Spinnerhawk Natural Resources Fund was down 8% in January and February before he joined the firm from Bank of America, where he served as a managing director in the equity research department. Since then, its performance has picked up dramatically, returning 11% through Oct. 31.

“Spinnerhawk had been a commodities fund in 2005, 2006 and the first part of this year. I came in March and we changed the strategy to no commodities and stock picking and we had some good performances since then,” he said.

“My partner, Garrett Smith, and I decided that, although we were up for the year and made money for people, fundraising was getting increasingly difficult. I had the opportunity to go to Carlson Capital, which is a $4 billion plus hedge fund, and Garrett decided he wanted to go and do some other things. So we decided since we were up for the year, we’ll give everybody their money back and do some different things.”

Wicklund is currently co-managing Carlson Capital’s $500 million energy portfolio alongside founder Clint Carlson. Smith, who worked for T. Boone Pickens’ BP Capital before founding his own firm in 2005, is transforming Spinnerhawk into a family office. 

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