By Irwin Speizer
When the mortgage securities craze was in full throttle in 2007, Andrew Redleaf of Minneapolis-based Whitebox Advisors was among the handful of hedge fund managers who shorted the securities — and cleaned up when they tanked. In the economic collapse of 2008, as other managers fretted about possible backlash from suspending redemptions, Redleaf became one of the first to block redemptions, as a means of protecting his portfolios from fire-sale liquidations. He once took his hedge funds, which tend to specialize in arbitrage and market-neutral plays, on a major detour, buying half of a regional airline that he later sold at a loss. Lately, he has promoted the investment opportunities in natural gas, where a production glut has prompted a mass retreat by investors and a plunge in prices.
||Andrew Redleaf: Wants to prove most academic finance wrong (Photographs by Darin Back)|
A contrarian bent that...