John Meriwether, whose Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) hedge fund famously collapsed in 1998, is closing another fund.
But the stakes aren’t so high this time. When LTCM imploded, Federal Reserve officials worried the firm could trigger a meltdown of the entire financial system. So the Fed engineered a bailout.
This time around, the problems are confined to Meriwether’s investors.
His JWM Partners, which started just a year after the LTCM fiasco, will shutter its main Relative Value Opportunity II fund after losing 44 percent from September 2007 to February 2009, Bloomberg reported.
The fund’s long-term track record wasn’t so hot, either. Since Meriwether began it in 1999, the fund averaged an annual return of 1.46 percent, compared with 2.4 percent for the Credit Suisse/Tremont Hedge Fixed-Income Arbitrage Index.
“For many investors, John Meriwether is by now just another hedge fund manager,” Tammer Kamel, president of Toronto-based investment advisor Iluka Consulting Group, told Bloomberg.
“LTCM’s infamy was a big story in 1998, but the events of 2008 might finally relegate LTCM and 1998 to footnote status,” Kamel said.
JWM, which managed more than $2.6 billion at its zenith, now consists of just a small staff with no traders at its Greenwich, Conn., offices, the same headquarters used by LTCM, The Wall Street Journal reported.
JWM suffered because it depended on leverage.
"We are extending leverage, but the pricing and duration has changed," Sylvan Chackman, co-head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s prime brokerage, told The Journal.
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