Smooth Sailing For Steelhead’s Navigator Fund

Oct 31 2008 | 12:20pm ET

Steelhead Partners’ Navigator Fund, a $450 million long/short hedge fund, suffered its biggest drawdown last month, but it’s still outshining many of its competitors in an otherwise gloomy market. 

The fund lost 22.65% last month, halving its year-to-date returns. But it is still up 20.62% on the year, while the rest of the industry is not doing so well, down anywhere from 10.24% to 13.2%, depending on the index. Unfortunately for investors fleeing those funds, Navigator, which began trading in January 1997, is closed to new money.

Steelhead also manages the Pathfinder Fund, a convertible arbitrage vehicle, which has not fared as well as its predecessor. The $56.5 million fund dropped 7.96% last month, leaving it down 3.58% year-to-date.

The firm was co-founded by Michael Johnston, a former co-manager of corporate bonds and equities for Loews Corporation, and Brian Klein, an ex-executive director in the equities division at Goldman Sachs.

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