UBS hedge fund whisperer Bill Richards retires

By Lawrence Delevingne

Fri Jan 4, 2013


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Close to the Tiger family, he spent nearly 30 years covering hedge funds.


  

Bill Richards

Bill Richards, UBS's senior hedge fund relationship manager whose ties with Tiger Management helped drive the bank's industry relationships since 1995, has retired.

"[Bill] has been instrumental in the development of our coverage of Hedge Funds globally," said UBS equity sales chief Dominic Vail in an internal email today. "We would like to thank Bill for the many years of good service."

Richards met Tiger Management founder Julian Robertson in 1983 while investing in hedge funds on behalf of his family. He subsequently worked with more than 100 Tiger alums, or "cubs," covering Robertson for UBS throughout his time at the bank.

Based in New York, Richards also managed UBS's relationships with Eton Park Capital Management, Och-Ziff Capital Management, Highbridge Capital Management and York Capital Management, among other large firms. A long/short equity expert, he often arranged for high profile managers to speak at UBS events or come to private client diners.

"In 1983 the opportunities were huge in the hedge fund industry. 30 years later the challenges are really huge," Richards told Absolute Return, reflecting on his career. "Four years of underperformance, most of the flows only into large funds, a fund of funds industry under pressure to perform better, and a very uncertain world. The opportunities remain large but it will take unique skills to achieve them and you cannot do well as an investor in hedge funds without investing in small funds and new launches. "

"It is going to be a fascinating Industry over the coming years," Richards added. He plans to join the boards of several hedge funds but declined to disclose the firms as the deals were not finalized.

His immediate retirement plans will focus on chairing the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation, taking over for Paul Volcker. The nonprofit is also supported by such hedge fund managers as Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates and Jean-Louis Lelogeais of Strategic Value Partners.

His close hedge fund ties are also evident in other philanthropic activities: Richards recently served on the board of iMentor, founded by John Griffin of Blue Ridge Capital Management and continues as a director of the All Hallows Foundation, led by Viking Global Investors chief operating officer Phil Eagan.

Richards is also a supporter of 100 Women in Hedge Funds. The professional and philanthropic group recently named his wife, Daphne, to its board. She focuses on hedge funds as a senior executive with wealth manager Bessemer Trust Company.