Wednesday, July 8, 2009

John Meriwether closes fund.

Well at least he's rich.

John Meriwether, who roiled global markets when Long-Term Capital Management LP collapsed in 1998, plans to shut his current hedge fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.

JWM Partners LLC is closing its main Relative Value Opportunity II fund after losing 44 percent from September 2007 to February 2009. Meriwether, credited with generating billions of dollars of revenue at the former Salomon Brothers in the 1980s through so-called relative value trades, returned an average of 1.46 percent a year with his new fund since opening in 1999, compared with 2.4 percent for the Credit Suisse/Tremont Hedge Fixed-Income Arbitrage Index.

Long-Term Capital, which assembled a team of top Salomon traders and Nobel laureates, lost more than 90 percent of its $4.8 billion of assets in the weeks following Russia's currency devaluation and bond default. The Federal Reserve orchestrated a $3.6 billion bailout by the fund's 14 banks to calm fears that the firm's lenders and trading partners would be dragged down.

"For many investors, John Meriwether is by now just another hedge-fund manager," said Tammer Kamel, president of Toronto-based Iluka Consulting Group Ltd., which advises clients on investments in the private pools of capital. "LTCM's infamy was a big story in 1998, but the events of 2008 might finally relegate LTCM and 1998 to footnote status."


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