The last few years have been hard on the hedge fund industry—the last eight, to be exact, when you-know-who was in charge, bringing sadness and misery and desperately unwanted introspection from Stamford to Manhattan and everywhere in between. Last year especially, when more than 1,000 closed their doors, unable to survive long enough to enjoy the hedge-fund renaissance sparked by the rise of President Trump and the decline of all rules governing anything, instantly curing all of the many things that ailed the industry.
Still, some are still too far gone to savor the revival. Take Eric Mindich. The youngest partner in Goldman Sachs history, he’s been producing annualized returns just south of 10% over the last 13 years at Eton Park Capital Management. But in spite of his status as the most favored of the Elect—and in spite of having all of his old buddies running the country—Eton Park couldn’t be saved from its difficult 2016 and people’s growing distaste for hedge funds. Oh, and the fact that Mindich is an Obama guy.
Mindich -- whose Eton Park Capital Management was among the biggest fund startups -- is returning client money after 13 years, he said in a one-page letter to clients Thursday. The firm expects to return 40 percent of all investors’ capital by the end of next month.
“Recently, a combination of industry headwinds, a difficult market environment and, importantly, our own disappointing 2016 results have challenged our ability to continue to maintain the scale and scope we believe necessary to pursue our investment program consistent with our founding principles,” Mindich, 49, wrote….
From the start, Mindich had set up his fund to be a global player, with offices in New York and London, and a team approach that focused on companies going through turnarounds, bankruptcies and other corporate events. It was an operation he wasn’t sure he could continue given that assets had fallen by 50 percent since 2011.