Nick Maounis Gets The Amaranth Band Back Together For New Fund


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, namely Amaranth clients, who are humorless stiffs, didn't find the blow up that funny. So even though Maounis who, FYI, has yet to get investors their money, was chomping at the bit to get things going again he had to lay low for a while. He and other members of Team A dispersed and went pretty much radio silent. Maounis told everyone not to contact him, and to instead wait for his signal. And now, the time has come.

Maounis has hired his former partner, Manos Vourkoutiotis, to run investments in Canada for his two-year-old hedge fund, according to a letter sent to investors. Vourkoutiotis “will focus primarily on convertible arbitrage, credit trading, long/short equity, and volatility trading within the Canadian market,” Maounis said in the letter.

Three of Amaranth’s four partners are now working at Greenwich, Connecticut-based Verition Group LLC fund, which manages $250 million. The Verition fund invests in credit markets, convertible bonds and stocks, including those of companies going through corporate events such as mergers and bankruptcies. It also has a team that manages money using computer models.

How great is this?! Just like old times! Sure, not everyone's back just yet. A few IR girls are unaccounted for and one guy who's still waiting for the call is Brian Hunter. It's presumably coming but in the event that doesn't pan out, who wants to be the next BH? The new shop, dubbed Verition Fund Management LLC, has already hired about 32 employees but they’re still searching for that special someone. Must have an awesome a sense of humor and adventure as Hunt. If that's you, let me know and I’m happy to pass on your info. (Also please note Verition is currently accepting investments– get in at the ground floor.)

Maounis Hires Former Amaranth Colleague for Two-Year-Old Fund in Canada [Bloomberg via FIN]


Vikram Pandit To Get Back In The Hedge Fund Saddle Again, At Some Point

Just a question of which hedge fund he'll be riding-- his own or his former Old Lane colleague's. The buzz on Wall Street is that ousted Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit will return to the hedge-fund world. UK hedge fund Portman Square Capital declined to comment on chatter that its founder, Sutesh Sharma, is eager to nab Pandit for his new firm. Sharma, a former money manager at Pandit’s now defunct Old Lane hedge fund, launched Portman this year with $500 million...Pandit is viewed by the hedge fund community as a rainmaker due to his ties to deep-pocketed investors. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he felt the timing was right to join an existing fund . . . or start his own fund,” said Robert Olman of hedge-fund search firm Alpha Search Advisory Partners. Thinking ahead, how much do we predict Citi will pay to acquire Portman Square (or Pandit Partners) in order to lure Big Vik back, which is kind their thing? Last time around it was $800 million so they'll probably have to offer at least $2bn. Pandit Packing For London Hedges [NYP via FINalternatives]