Hedge funds: It’s not only about the money
Star performers are not motivated solely by the chance to earn yet more, as the pending departure of Greg Coffey from GLG to start his own business shows. Neil Wilson reports.
In European hedge fund circles, a big talking point recently has been the decision of Greg Coffey – one of the industry’s star performers of the past two years – to resign suddenly from GLG Partners, the London-based and New York-listed hedge fund group.
The move appeared to take quite a lot of people by surprise, including not least GLG co-founder and co-CEO Noam Gottesman, who frankly admitted during a conference call with investors: "It never occurred to me that a few hundred million dollars would be an insufficient sum to retain someone."
Remarkably, though, it appears that such potentially vast sums were ultimately not enough. If he had stuck around, Coffey would have stood to make $250 million or more, according to various reports – in a combination of cash and shares – after he had delivered such excellent 50%-plus returns in 2006 and then again in 2007 with his flagship GLG Emerging Markets fund. But in the end, it seems he simply could not resist the temptation to set up his own shop.