The loss of a legendary founder can sink a fund, but Deephaven is one of the few groups that has been through the transition and emerged stronger
Don't believe anyone who tells you that the cult of personality doesn't sell in the hedge fund business. Money follows star portfolio managers, and is quick to leave when they do. The same is true for firm founders. After all, it's hard to imagine SAC minus Steve Cohen or Citadel without Ken Griffin.
But the pre-eminence of these 'personalities' in hedge funds is one of the key factors that is holding back 'institutionalization' because it is difficult to establish a durable brand name when so much of the assets and perceived success of the organization are tied to one person. Unsurprisingly, few firms have outlasted their founders, but one that may have cracked the formula is Minnesota-based Deephaven.
When Irvin Kessler, the man...