FrontPoint Founder’s New Hedge Fund Flounders

Jan 22 2009 | 12:15pm ET

FrontPoint Partners founder Phillip Duff’s new hedge fund is on the ropes, with the firm making drastic job cuts before raising a dollar in new capital.

Greenwich, Conn.-based Duff Capital Advisors, which once employed as many as 100 people, cut its staff by almost 80% last month, the New York Post reports, a move that a Duff spokesman called “rightsizing.” North Sound Partners, which merged with Duff Capital in July, is an independent firm again, according to Reuters.

According to the tabloid, it’s not even clear if Duff himself is still in charge; the Tiger Asset Management alum has reportedly feuded with asset management firm Lindsay Goldberg, which provided Duff Capital with $500 million in seed funding. Eileen Murray, who started at Duff Capital as president, is now co-CEO, along with Duff.

Lindsay Goldberg is apparently none too thrilled by Duff’s freespending ways in getting his new firm off he ground. Duff Capital reportedly spent some $70 million hiring teams of hedge fund managers and building new office space before making any investments. And despite the fact that Lindsay Goldberg has apparently only come through with $100 million of the pledged seed capital, the Post says the firm is not in danger of closing up shop.

Duff founded the eponymous hedge fund after leaving Morgan Stanley, which bought FrontPoint three years ago. He had sought to raise as much as $1.5 billion beyond the seed funding, but like many new hedge funds has had trouble finding investors.

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