Thursday, 11 June 2015
Meredith Whitney Says She's Done With Hedge Funds After Struggle
By Max Abelson
Meredith Whitney, who turned fame as a banking analyst into a stint running her own hedge fund, is through with managing other people’s money.
“I think that chapter of my life is over,” she said in an interview with Fox Business on Wednesday. “This whole experience has been highly unfortunate and I’m putting it behind me.”
Whitney’s prescient warning before the financial crisis that Citigroup Inc. would cut its dividend turned her into a Wall Street star and put her on magazine covers. Her firm Kenbelle Capital and its American Revival Fund started investing in heartland stocks in November 2013, after she predicted on TV and in a book that the center of the U.S. would boom.
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Her top investor, a fund tied to billionaire Michael Platt’s BlueCrest Capital Management, sued in December to get back its $46 million after months of losses. A court filing this month showed the two had resolved the claims. Whitney didn’t immediately respond to messages left at her office.
In a brief phone call Wednesday, Stanley Arkin, a lawyer for Whitney, wouldn’t elaborate on her interview.
“She’s an honest woman,” he said. “I’m not at liberty to say anything more than that.”
Starting her debut fund without a staff of analysts to help choose investments and relying too much on one investor’s money helped lead her astray, a person with direct knowledge of her firm told Bloomberg earlier this year, after her New York office went on the market and top executives left.
“At the end of May I returned money to every single investor,” she said in the Fox interview. Whitney is now focused on analyzing financial stocks, including the company that made her famous. “Citi’s interesting,” she said.