Fursa buys its freedom

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Mickey Harley's four tumultuous years with Mellon Financial form a cautionary tale

By Josh Friedlander

It's hard to resist the siren song of money, whether in the form of an IPO or by selling out to a financial institution. But for those hedge fund managers tempted by the big bucks, one cautionary tale is the ill-fated union of Mellon Financial and HBV Capital Management.

Mellon, in an undisclosed all-cash deal, bought William "Mickey" Harley's hedge fund firm in 2002 in an alliance that looked perfectly complementary. Uneven performance, the closure of several funds, and disagreements over sales strategies led the