One year ago
»» Wingspan Investment Management was
raising money and hiring bodies as it approached
its March 2013 launch. The fund, founded by former Goldman
Buckley "Buck" Ratchford, drew $250 million in seed capital
from Reservoir Capital.
A calendar year—and eight months of
trading—later, the fund boasts a net return of 14.06%
through the end of October. Though it says all of its five
strategies have made money, its special situations, distressed
credit, and liquidation/legal strategies were the biggest
contributors to its performance.
The firm has also raised money; Wingspan now has
$345 million under management and is open to new investments.
"Being a small, nimble player, there’s a
tremendous opportunity in our space," said Brendan Driscoll,
Wingspan’s team has nearly doubled, to
12 people. In mid-June, the firm hired Ryan FitzSimons,
formerly a vice president on Goldman Sachs’s
capital introductions team, to head business development and
marketing. The firm has also built out its back office to a
team of four.
Five years ago
»» John Paulson’s Paulson
& Co. stole the show at the 2008 Absolute
Return awards dinner, where it won awards for the best
event-driven fund, the best distressed fund, and management
firm of the year. "Light will shine on this industry again,"
Paulson told the crowd. "There will be better times. So I
encourage everyone that may not be doing as well as they have
in the past to stay focused."
Paulson & Co.’s funds outperformed
the markets by a wide margin in 2007 and 2008; in those years
its flagship Advantage Fund was up 158.58% and 37.64%,
respectively. However, Paulson’s performance has
been less impressive in the years since. The same fund lost
52.48% in 2011 and 21.42% in 2012, but is up 15.69% this year
through the end of September.