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Leucadia adds $100 mln to Folger Hill bet as hedge fund stabilizes
November 6, 2017 / 6:52 PM / 11 days ago

Leucadia adds $100 mln to Folger Hill bet as hedge fund stabilizes

NEW YORK, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Leucadia National Corp has doubled down on hedge fund firm Folger Hill Asset Management LP with a new approximately $100 million investment, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The recent cash infusion by Leucadia, the parent company of investment bank Jefferies Group, adds to its already $400 million bet on Folger Hill, launched in 2014 by former SAC Capital Advisors Chief Operating Officer Solomon “Sol” Kumin.

The new money comes at a good time: the firm’s main stock-picking hedge fund, Folger Hill Partners LP, is up about 4.5 percent this year through October, according to another source who requested anonymity because the information is private.

That is far better than its losses of 3.2 percent and 17.5 percent in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Boston- and New York-based Folger Hill’s assets also appear to have stabilized.

Kumin initially raised about $1.1 billion, but capital managed by the firm’s U.S. unit declined to approximately $600 million as of December 2016. Folger Hill’s U.S. division currently has about $750 million, including the new Leucadia capital, according to one of the sources.

An Asia-based unit that is run in partnership with private investment firm Schonfeld Strategic Advisors also has about $250 million under management, half of the $500 million that can be drawn from Leucadia and Schonfeld’s commitment to the division.

Leucadia had previously looked for an additional equity owner for Folger Hill in an effort to diversify its investor base.

But the sale process has stopped given the fresh capital outlay, according to one of the sources.

Folger Hill’s U.S. business has 11 portfolio managers, according to the source, down from 17 at the start of 2016. Folger Hill Asia will have 11 portfolio managers in Hong Kong and Singapore by January, according to the same person, up from five in December 2016.

Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne; Editing by Carmel Crimmins and Dan Grebler

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