Earlier this year, Bloomberg Markets magazine named Don Brownstein, former philosophy professor and founder of Structured Portfolio Management the best performing large hedge fund manager of 2010, having returned 49.5 percent (after 134.6 percent in 2009). Now a lawsuit by one of his former traders, Jeffrey Kong, is shedding light on some of the secrets to Brownstein’s success, which may have involved referencing scenes from The Untouchables over the course of a trading day, like the when he would allegedly conduct staff meetings by walking around conference room tables slapping a baseball bat in his palm and threatening to murder people.

“Brownstein’s management style was, at times questionable,” Kong said in a court filing. “For example, as in the famous scene from the movie “The Untouchables,” Brownstein would often walk around the crowded conference room table while slapping the palm of his hand with a baseball bat, stopping behind me while stating, `I’ll kill you if you leave. The only way you can leave this firm is in a body bag.’”

Pop culture apparently wasn’t the only thing that made Don tick, according to Kong, who is seeking to “recover” millions lost (Brownstein is doing the same) in an alleged breach of contract when he resigned in May 2010 and took a job at a rival fund.

Kong’s filing paints Brownstein as often playing solitaire on his computer.

Assuming the allegations are true, a couple thoughts come to mind here:

1) So the guy has great taste in movies and a knack for DeNiro impressions- it’s not like he went through with the whole Untouchables scene, which would have involved beating someone to death. Everyone has a line they won’t cross and that’s his. While no names are necessary, I think we all know that there are a good number of people in this industry who would’ve gone through with the bludgeoning without hesitation. Let’s just say, it could’ve been a lot worse.

2) The riffing and solitaire may some how have contributed to Brownstein’s success. Got him in the zone or something. Any managers who’ve had a run of bad luck should consider giving both a try.

Lawsuit Claims Hedge Fund Manager Had Untouchable Managerial Style [Stamford Advocate]

42 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (42)

  1. Posted by Ice Time | February 17, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Better than getting run over by the Zamboni for poor performance.

  2. Posted by Ice Time | February 17, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Better than getting run over by the Zamboni for poor performance.

  3. Posted by Ice Time | February 17, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Better than getting run over by the Zamboni for poor performance.

  4. Posted by Ice Time | February 17, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Better than getting run over by the Zamboni for poor performance.

  5. Posted by guest | February 17, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    Stuff like this happens at D. E. Shaw all the time. It’s no big deal.

  6. Posted by guest | February 17, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    Stuff like this happens at D. E. Shaw all the time. It’s no big deal.

  7. Posted by Savage Manatee | February 17, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    I thought this only happened at Cobra Kai Capital.

  8. Posted by Guesty Guest | February 17, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Would you rather hear about some lame hedge fund manager’s attitude, or instead want to see me hit a couple of dingers?!?!?!

    -Lenny D no wait, to obvious….L Dykstra

  9. Posted by Ping | February 17, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    It could have been worse.

  10. Posted by Ice Time | February 17, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    He was a philosophy professor at the University of Kansas. That’s how they do things on the mean streets of Topeka: Kant, Kierkegaard, Knee-capping.

  11. Posted by Anonymous | February 17, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    A trader deserves no mercy

  12. Posted by Connecticut Hedge Fund Guy | February 17, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Huh?? I though you spelled the expletive “Kant” with a “C” instead of a K.

  13. Posted by Connecticut Hedge Fund Guy | February 17, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Huh?? I though you spelled the expletive “Kant” with a “C” instead of a K.

  14. Posted by NakedShort | February 17, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Fear does not exist in this trading floor, does it?
    NO DONNY!
    Under performance does not exist in this trading floor, does it?
    NO DONNY!
    Defeat does not exist in this trading floor, does it?
    NO DONNY!

  15. Posted by Coin Flipper, PhD | February 17, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Since inception numbers please.

  16. Posted by Nouriel Roubini | February 17, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    So easy even a professor can do it.

  17. Posted by Nouriel Roubini | February 17, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    So easy even a professor can do it.

  18. Posted by Nouriel Roubini | February 17, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    So easy even a professor can do it.

  19. Posted by Anonymous | February 17, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    The only way you can leave this firm is in a body bag or if Bess “Shiva the Destroyer” Levin writes about our COO losing his mind.

    -D. Ganek

  20. Posted by Stickler for details | February 17, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Best performing manager of 2009….not 2010

  21. Posted by Anonymous | February 17, 2011 at 7:57 PM
  22. Posted by Confused Commenter | February 17, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Slips on iron glove with velvet lining, furiously masturbates.

  23. Posted by Ghengis | February 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    This guy is a piker, you should see the Cold Room at Misfit Barbarian Fund HQ.

  24. Posted by Ghengis | February 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    This guy is a piker, you should see the Cold Room at Misfit Barbarian Fund HQ.

  25. Posted by Ghengis | February 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    This guy is a piker, you should see the Cold Room at Misfit Barbarian Fund HQ.

  26. Posted by Ghengis | February 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    This guy is a piker, you should see the Cold Room at Misfit Barbarian Fund HQ.

  27. Posted by Ghengis | February 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    This guy is a piker, you should see the Cold Room at Misfit Barbarian Fund HQ.

  28. Posted by Ghengis | February 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    This guy is a piker, you should see the Cold Room at Misfit Barbarian Fund HQ.

  29. Posted by Ghengis | February 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    This guy is a piker, you should see the Cold Room at Misfit Barbarian Fund HQ.

  30. Posted by Ghengis | February 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    This guy is a piker, you should see the Cold Room at Misfit Barbarian Fund HQ.

  31. Posted by Ghengis | February 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    This guy is a piker, you should see the Cold Room at Misfit Barbarian Fund HQ.

  32. Posted by Guest | February 17, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    into a cup?

  33. Posted by M1 | February 17, 2011 at 8:47 PM
  34. Posted by Guest | February 17, 2011 at 9:07 PM
  35. Posted by The Observer | February 17, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    I think you mean Lawrence. Washburn University is in Topeka..

  36. Posted by The Observer | February 17, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    I think you mean Lawrence. Washburn University is in Topeka..

  37. Posted by The Observer | February 17, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    I think you mean Lawrence. Washburn University is in Topeka..

  38. Posted by trojan | February 17, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    a la Hannibal Lecter’s cellmate & Clarice Starling

  39. Posted by Torquil69 | February 17, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    ping used to like and bang his dick on the table, apparently it tested the traders femininity quotient

  40. Posted by Guest | February 18, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    I just like the cup so I can use for other things at a later date.

    -into the cup guy.

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    must check cheap chanel handbags online

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