One year ago
»» Stan Druckenmiller of Duquesne Capital Management announced his retirement citing the “heavy personal costs” of his lucrative and legendary career.
Though at the time he was on track to suffer his first losing year in 30, Druckenmiller eked out a 4.5% gain by yearend.
A former head trader for George Soros, Druckenmiller handed back about $12 billion to investors before calling it quits for a retirement of golf and charitable giving via his eponymous foundation.
»» Stung by performance losses and redemptions, assets at Ken Griffin’s Citadel declined another $500 million in the first half of 2010.
Since then, the firm’s overall assets have stabilized to about $11 billion as of July 1, 2011—the same as one year earlier, according to data collected by AR.
Citadel recently abandoned some of its attempts to expand beyond asset management. The firm sold its administration business, Omnium, to Northern Trust in August and recent reports indicated that the Chicago firm was looking to sell some or all of its investment bank operations in New York.
Five years ago
»» Michele Paige, formerly a senior analyst at King Street Capital Management and Icahn Capital, pitched investors on a new activist fund slated to launch that fall in New York.
Paige then slipped below the radar until very recently, when a Delaware Court ordered Paige Capital to return a $40 million investment from Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner. Paige had refused to release the money, since Lerner’s investment comprised 99.9% of the Lerner Master Fund.
“The only other investor was the hedge fund manager herself, and she had only $40,000 invested, a sum that paled in comparison to the management fees she would receive by keeping the seed investor’s capital locked up,” Judge Leo Strine wrote last week in his decision.
Meanwhile, husband Chris Paige, also a hedge fund manager, flirted with a run at a congressional seat in Pennsylvania. He dropped out of the Republican primary in March 2010 due to “health and family issues,” handing the nomination to now-Rep. Lou Barletta.
Paige Capital did not respond to requests for comment.
»» Pirate Capital told investors it would soft close all funds once it reached $2 billion in assets.
The firm never made it, hitting peak assets of $1.9 billion that summer. Within a year, the Norwalk, Conn. firm was in a typhoon of trouble, with redemptions driving down assets after staff defections that followed a probe by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into whether Pirate had failed to properly disclose certain stock sales (at the time, the firm characterized the SEC investigation as a misunderstanding that was quickly resolved). By the summer of 2007, the firm was managing $400 million.
Founder Tom Hudson resurfaced two years later with a another piratically-themed firm, Doubloon Capital. The firm did not return calls seeking comment.