Eton Park Capital Management is one of the well-known hedge funds in Wall Street. The fund made a big splash following a big launch. Also, the company employed a few of the most coveted fund managers on Wall Street, which only boosted their reputation. Unfortunately, they are now shutting down.
Eric Mindich, the founder of Eton Park Capital Management, recently wrote to the investors. As stated in the letter, the fund decided to shut down its doors. The combination of 2016 disappointing results, difficult market conditions, and industry headwinds made the fund managers question themselves on their ability to manage other people's money. Eric Mindich closed the letter saying that they would rather shut down from a position of "relative strength," so investor's capital would be returned.
He also stated that 40% of the investor's capital would be returned in the last days of April. The rest of the money will still be returned, but at a slower pace over the coming months. According to Eric Mindich, this is because a significant portion of the investor's money is still invested and in the process of being liquidated. Keep in mind that the fund's largest investors are its employees and partners.
Eton Park Capital Management is a fund based in New York. With a starting capital of $3.5 billion in 2004, it was considered to be one of the largest hedge funds ever launched. Eric Mindich was a former Goldman Sachs employee. When he was 27 years old, he partnered with a bank, and he was regarded as the youngest to acquire such accomplishment.
Eton Park Capital Management reported a 9.4% loss in 2016. This translated to a shrinking of capital from $9 billion to $7 billion. The numbers are according to a report by Stephen Taub last January. Taub is part of the Institutional Investor's group.
The closure of the Eton Park Capital Management was a shock to a lot of people in the hedge fund community. Investors had no idea or hints about closure, and most of them never saw it coming. In fact, most of the staff at Eton Park Capital Management only heard about the news recently.
Speculations of the exact reason for the closure are circulating. Some suggest that it's the company's limited redemption in 2016. While it is true that Eton Park Capital Management reported losses last year, the company produced good results in the previous years. The company was also roughly at break-even through the middle of March 2017. While most investors expect losing returns here and there, what they don't expect is a closure after a single year of bad returns.
In Wall Street, a hedge fund closure is a normal occurrence. In fact, hedge fund closures often outpace the launches. For example, there were about 1,000 hedge funds that closed last year, while there were only 700 being launched. Perry Capital, also a high-profile hedge fund, shut down last year because of bad performance.
Keep in mind that the Dow Jones Industrial grew by around 13% last year, while Eton Park Capital Management reported a loss of 9%.