Even as news broke today that energy trading had claimed another hedge fund casualty, a veteran hedge fund trader with a past to pause over is preparing a to launch a new hedge energy trading fund, according to Bloomberg.
Jeff Shankman, the former chief operating officer of global markets at Enron Corp., plans to raise as much as $250 million in the next six months for an energy hedge fund, according to two investors who received marketing documents on the proposal.
Trident Asset Management LLC, based in Houston, was founded this year by Shankman and Andy Weathers, a former trader at CenterPoint Energy Inc., and will start trading this month, said the investors, who declined to be identified because details are still confidential. Shankman didn't return messages left requesting comment. Weathers declined to comment.
A four-year rally in prices for raw materials has spurred investment in commodity-trading hedge funds. They oversee $22.5 billion globally, up from $12 billion a year ago, according to London-based NewFinance Capital LLP, which invests in such funds. Trident's Cayman Islands-registered fund will trade U.S. natural gas, crude and refined oil, according to the investors.
"The problem facing investors is differentiating between these funds given the dearth of single-manager funds that have launched over the past year,'' said Neil Campbell, a fund manager at London-based Habibsons Bank Ltd., which invests in commodity funds. "It's getting harder to pick the right ones.''
Shankman, 39, headed trading in markets from commodities to foreign exchange and equities at Enron, the world's largest energy-trading company before it went bankrupt in 2001. He then started Monotech International Inc., a Texas-based building- construction company.