Looking back on Sailfish Capital's descent

By Rob Copeland

Tue Feb 12, 2013

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Absolute Return also revisits problems for new launches.


One year ago
>>  New hedge fund launches lurched forward, with 50 new funds starting in 2011 and ending the calendar year with at least $50 million in assets.

The environment thawed significantly in the subsequent months. In 2012, some 71 new hedge funds hit that mark, the highest total since 2007, according to Absolute Return's recently-released new funds survey. Major launches included a new fund from Renaissance Technologies, two startups from former executives at Blue Ridge Capital Management and a private equity/hedge fund hybrid from CarVal Investors.

See also: New hedge funds update: January 2013 - New launches news section

Five years ago
>> The stormy tides of the credit crisis jammed the rudder of once-$2 billion Sailfish Capital, pushing it to close four years after its founding. It lost more than 15% in 2007. "It feels like someone has died," co-founder Fishman told The New York Times

It took a few years, but Fishman reached dry land last year, launching the $28 million Aesir Credit Master Fund in June. The fund was up 14% in 2012, compared with a 5.95% rise for the Absolute Return Credit Index in the same time period. Assets had reached $71 million by January 1, 2013.

"What we are doing here really isn't different than the credit strategies I ran at SAC, Sailfish or Diamondback," Fishman wrote in an email to Absolute Return this week. "This time we made sure this fund sticks to its knitting in a pure format. At [Sailfish] this [strategy's] returns were washed out by other strategies. The Aesir Credit fund sticks to my knitting!"

Fishman's former partner Sal Naro also launched a new credit fund last year, the Coherence Capital Spectrum Fund. That $24 million vehicle did even better, up 16.27% between August and the end of the year. Naro did not respond to a request for comment.

Former Sailfish portfolio manager Ed Tiege took a different route, opening up a distillery in the New York City suburbs.

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H