Ex-Contrarian Manager Who Sued Firm Plans $1B Fund

Sep 5 2008 | 12:58pm ET

Failure to get along with one’s bosses is a good sign that one should consider working for oneself.

So former Contrarian Capital Management portfolio manager Stephen Czech, who earlier this year sued his old firm over an allegedly unpaid bonus, is striking out on his own. Czech has founded SJC Capital Management, the New York Post reports, and is looking to raise about $1 billion for a new hedge fund.

SJC, like Contrarian, will provide financing for small- and mid-tier companies that have been shut out due to the credit crunch. Czech’s fund at $4 billion Contrarian, Contrarian Capital Finance, has been one of that firm’s best-performing products.

Czech, a Credit Suisse veteran, sued Contrarian in April, accusing boss Jonathan Bauer of withholding a more than $1 million bonus after he asked for a leave of absence to care for his 11-year-old son, who is stricken with an inoperable brain tumor.

Bauer countersued, arguing that Czech had to reinvest his bonus in a new Contrarian hedge fund. He also accused Czech of attempting to lure away the firm’s investors. The Post reports that the two sides have since settled the dispute.

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