Looking back on Old Lane, dinner with Soros, and SAC secrecy

October 20, 2010   Suzy Kenly Waite

In this week’s look back at the archives, AR revisits the launch of Old Lane Management, the ill-fated firm that Vikram Pandit parlayed into the top job at Citi.

One Year Ago
»»Jonathan Rosenthal and Eric Fonsca, formerly of Sandell Asset Management, formed Newfoundland Capital in Sao Paolo and planned on launching a long/short fund focused on Latin America that November.

Five Years Ago
»» Vikram Pandit co-founded Old Lane Management with former Morgan Stanley executives John Havens and Guru Ramakrishnan. The firm managed $4 billion by January 1, 2007. In April 2007, Citigroup inked a deal to purchase Old Lane for more than $800 million, and only eight months later, on December 11, 2007, Pandit became Citigroup’s new chief executive following the departure of Charles Prince. But flat performance and investor redemptions led the bank to shutter Old Lane in June 2008.

»» George Soros paid $15,000 to attend the Clinton Global Initiative gala dinner, where he ate alongside such highflyers as former President Bill Clinton and then-Senator Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Rupert Murdoch. Topics at the dinner included climate change, religion, business and poverty. In the 2004 election, Soros was a generous donor to the Democrats, giving over $10 million in an attempt to unseat President George W. Bush.

»»Tom Steyer’s Farallon Capital Management opened a new fund for international investors, Farallon Capital Offshore Investors II, allowing them to share the profits from the firm’s less liquid but potentially higher-return assets, including private equity and real estate investments.

»»SAC Capital Advisors began asking prospective investors in its then-new SAC Multi-Strategy Fund to sign and return nondisclosure agreements before allowing them to meet with the firm to discuss the offering. The move sparked outrage with investors, who claimed at the time that asking them to sign a nondisclosure agreement before they had even learned about the investment was ridiculous.

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