In 1995, Eric Keiter founded a little hedge fund called MKP Capital Management. Eleven years later, the firm’s middle initial left to take a few years off, and in his absence MKP grew to manage some $24 billion.
Still, you can’t keep an entrepreneur down for long, so Keiter took all of his global macro fixed-income expertise and started… a livery-cab leasing company.
“Dear Colleagues,” Robert Benmosche wrote in a memo to AIG employees today. “We come together as a company to celebrate in good times and we draw together in times of shared crisis. Today warrants a celebration like no other in AIG’s history and places well in the past a crisis none of us will ever forget…Today the US Department of the Treasury has priced an offering of approximately 234.2 million shares of AIG common stock at a price to market of $32.50 per share. Upon the closing of this transaction, expected this Friday, Treasury will have sold the last of its remaining shares of AIG common stock, receiving proceeds of approximately $7.6 billion from the sale. The closing of this transaction will mark the full resolution of America’s financial support of AIG…It is one of the most extraordinary – and what many believed to be the most unlikely– turnarounds in American business history. And you did it…You did this. Every single man and woman at AIG did this remarkable thing. There is a saying in American life, there are no second acts. Well, take a bow, because today marks our second act.” [Dealbook]
A few years back, a hedge fund in Greenwich went out of business. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Was called Amaranth Advisors. Was run by a guy named Nick Maounis. Had this lovable goof of a Canuck named Brian Hunter making natural-gas trades. Brian was always up for a good laugh and one day, on a lark, put on some trades that resulted in the firm losing, I don’t know, like $6.6 billion. It’s was hilarious! Maybe you had to be there, but I’m telling you, it was pant-pissingly funny. Definitely one of the best things to happen to the hedge fund community in a while. Anyway, some people who didn’t find it so funny, because they’re humorless stiffs, were AA’s investors. And apparently, they’re still not over it, which would explain why they are RUINING the best news ev-ar, which is that the guy who brought you Bri-Hunt is starting a new shop!
Maounis’s efforts come as some clients from his original Amaranth fund are fuming that they still haven’t received all their cash back. More than $250 million remains tied up in that firm. Some investors aren’t placated by the fact that Mr. Maounis faces constraints in returning cash amid lawsuits. Some Amaranth investors have lost patience. “It’s outrageous. The fund supposedly was liquidated four years ago, and I just want to be done with it,” said Donald Shapiro, a Boston-area investor who put $1 million of his family’s savings into Amaranth in 2001.