Looking back on a $710,000 breakfast

By Rob Copeland

Tue May 21, 2013

Read more:


Email a friend
  • To include more than one recipient, please seperate each email address with a semi-colon ';', to a maximum of 5 email addresses



Absolute Return also revisits the fall of Citi's Falcon funds.


One year ago

>> Absolute Return broke the story of Quantitative Investment Management co-founder Michael Geismar's extraordinary blackjack run at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas that ended with a $710,000 profit.

One week later, Geismar told The Wall Street Journal he would donate the winnings to the MLG Foundation, a health and nutrition charity he started with his wife in 2008. He apparently did not try to press his luck this year; Geismar was not listed as an attendee on SALT's 2013 materials. He did not respond to a request for comment this week.

The past year has not been especially profitable for QIM. The firm's flagship $3.5 billion Global Program (data here) gained 4.65% in 2012 but has fallen 6.71% this year through the end of April, compared with a 0.38% climb for the Absolute Return Managed Futures Index for that period. As of the latest Billion Dollar Club ranking, QIM managed $4.53 billion overall, down approximately 5% from six months earlier.

Five years ago

>> Citigroup portfolio manager Reaz Islam stepped down. He had run Citi's Falcon Strategies credit hedge funds, which lost approximately 75% of their value during the financial crisis.

Islam resurfaced in December of last year as CEO of LR Bangladesh Asset Management Company, a frontier market investor that at the time had $120 million under management--a far cry from his reported $4 billion peak at Citi. He told Bloomberg News last year he had "no regrets" and had "learned a lot from the crisis, notably to expect the unexpected at any time." He was not immediately available to comment.

See also: Who killed Citi's hedge funds?