The End of an Experiment
Plus: Farage/Coutts, US Bank Capital, PacWest
Most hedge funds like to retain an aura of anonymity. My old firm went without a nameplate outside its front entrance; clients would squint up at the building and down at the address in their calendar, wondering if they had the right place before being ushered in by doorman Arthur. Other firms put up a single landing page as their website, void of any information that may allow outsiders to discern their activities.
So it’s no wonder that hedge fund firms have been slow to list on public markets. The merits of issuing a currency to attract and retain talent and facilitate a transfer of ownership run counter to the ingrained culture of privacy. Going public might offer hedge fund founders a payday, but it also requires them to participate in quarterly earnings calls and answer analysts’ questions – a potentially unedifying experience when those analysts work for competitors.
Back in 2007, two firms bucked the trend. They had been formed 12 years earlier and between them had accumulated…