Ritchie Capital Pulls Plug On Energy Fund

Nov 9 2006 | 11:42am ET

Ritchie Capital, reportedly burned by the spike in natural gas prices that sank Amaranth Advisors, is shuttering its specialist energy hedge fund.

Doug Rothschild, partner-in-chief and administrative officer for the firm, said, “this is part of our broader plan to move the business forward and focus on interesting spaces where we have a definable edge and can capture alpha.”

The $2.8 billion Geneva, Ill.-based firm’s energy fund had had a rough 2006; it was down in double-digits even before September’s disastrous natural gas price movements. The firm successfully won investor approval of new investment terms, including some lock-ups of up to three years. The firm said the move was necessary to prevent an outflow of investors requiring a major asset sell-off.

Ritchie’s is not the only energy hedge fund to hit hard times. In addition to Amaranth, MotherRock also closed its doors this year, and Citadel Investment Group reportedly took a hit from the energy markets.

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