There are at least two oil-trading hedge-fund managers named Hall. Andy Hall of Phibro fame has run into some trouble in recent years, but he’s still got a couple decades of success and that magical 2008, when Citi had to pay him $100 million while simultaneously going cap in hand to the Treasury Department, which did not sit well with some people but sat very well with Andy Hall, to hang his hat on.
Then there’s Tony Hall. A Credit Suisse-Glencore and Deutsche Bank veteran, he ran a commodity hedge fund at Duet Asset Management for two whole years, the last 10 months of which did not go well. He and his partner, Arno Pilz, then took a few months to hammer out how to run a hedge fund that didn’t fail in two years, and they succeeded, strictly speaking: Hall Commodities is closing its doors after just 21 months, the last of which looked a whole lot like those last 10 months at Duet. Read more »
The good news is that you’re up 16% this year even after January’s ominous little hiccup. The bad news is that the last time old Andy Hall put together four good months in a row, he ended up losing money for the first time in 14 years. Oh yea, and he was up 18% through April that year. So, you know, keep your celebrating to a minimum. Read more »
The castle-dweller, who Citi got rid of last year after the public got its panties in a bunch over his $100 million bonus and Vikram found himself between a rock and a hard place (that place being the US government’s steel-toed boot, just grazing his rectum), informed clients that the fund did everything right, just not right enough.
“Unfortunately, we did not dodge the onslaught,” Mr. Hall, 59 years old, wrote in a June 1 letter to his investors. “We did reduce risk but not fast enough. We did hedge but not well enough. And we did re-enter some markets that we had exited, prematurely, as it turned out.” His commodities fund posted a decline of more than 10% last month, its weakest month in the last two years, to put it down nearly 10% this year through May, which is behind similar hedge funds. Mr. Hall was bullish as shares of commodity producers and other energy investments declined.
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Castle Hallenstein: Home Sweet HomeCitigroup’s former $100 million man has been freed from the tyranny of life as a serf under Czar Kenneth I. But if he wants to keep the nine-figure bonus checks rolling in under his new masters at Occidental Petroleum, he’s gonna need some new patrons.
Now, Citi chose to sell Hall’s business, Phibro, to Occidental for a few nickels rather than simply spin it off as an independent hedge fund. Still, Hall knows where the money is (a lot of it is hidden in the keep of his German castle) and he’s asked the Blackstone Group to find it.
Citi has taken a lot of shit for (potentially) paying commodities trader Andrew “C” Hall a hundred million dollar bonus and you know what? They’re sick of it. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much Vikram and Co can do to stop the relentless rounds of “you suck,” short of selling the whole damn thing. So, that’s exactly what they’re going to do. Just get rid of it. Nevermind that P-ro has been consistently profitable for 15 years. The bitching is too much to take. Moving forward, this will be the tactic Citi plans to take to solve all its problems. Got complaint about the bank? Air it in a public forum and it’s gone. Don’t care for Vikram? No problemo, he’s done.
Citigroup is working on a sale of its controversial commodities unit in a move that could raise hundreds of millions of dollars and deflect political anger over a potential $100m pay-out for its star trader Andrew Hall.
People close to the situation said that, after debating options such as divesting part of the unit, called Phibro, opening it up to outside investors or spinning it off, Citi’s executives favoured a complete divestment of the commodity trading division.
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