UK’s Top Hedge Fund Trader Greg Coffey Retires

on Oct 18, 2012
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**Star Trader Departs Moore Capital and Hedge Funds Altogether**

At the age of 41, Greg Coffey is one of the UK’s biggest hedge fund stars, having accumulated a fortune of estimated £260 million during his career. But after two decades in the industry, a more or less untarnished reputation and a family to look after, he has decided to take early retirement, The Times reported on 18 October 2012. Known as the Wizard of Oz, Coffey’s intensive trading strategy involved regular all-night sessions placing bets and tracking emerging markets and this is understood to have been one of the major factors to have prompted the decision. The Australian-born trader wrote to investors in his Moore Capital fund:

“After nearly 20 years in the financial markets, I’ve decided to leave the industry. The demands of my growing family mean that I am unable to commit to the market with the same intensity going forward. I plan on seeing much more of my wife and children and spending time in my home country, Australia.” In his letter, Coffey also told investors that the fund’s assets, estimated at up to £1.2 billion, have already been liquidated and they will receive their money back in full by the end of November.

**GLG ‘Wizard of Oz’**
!m[‘Wizard of Oz’ Hedge Fund Star Quits the High-Rolling Industry with £260m Fortune](/uploads/story/601/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)In April 2008, The Sunday Times dubbed Coffey the “Wizard of Oz” in a nod to his homeland after his fund surged 60 per cent in 2006 and 51 per cent in 2007 amid a rally in emerging markets. At that time Coffey was GLG Partners’s top performer, winning industry awards for his funds. Events started going awry for him in 2008 when he began losing money, causing a slump in GLG’s shares and investors’ funds. Nevertheless, Coffey’s decision to quit GLG, reportedly turning down a £154 million retention offer in bonuses and share options caused a major stir in the industry., GLG has since been taken over by Man Group (LON:EMG). Coffey’s departure also triggered client withdrawals of over £2 billion.

**Coffey and Moore Capital**
After leaving GLC, Coffey joined Moore Capital, taking the helm of two emerging market funds. Coffey, whom Moore Capital’s owner Louis Bacon had described as “one of the most impressive traders in the world,” also raised more than a billion dollars for a new fund, called GC Moore, branded especially after him.
Despite his lofty ambitions in regard to the Moore Capital funds, Coffey struggled to make the sort of eye-popping gains that earned him his reputation as the “Wizard of Oz.” Recently Coffey’s performance has been less consistent and his funds have been dogged by outflows and redemptions. This year, the GC Moore fund is down 2 per cent after a big rally in September. The two emerging markets funds, however, are down 16 per cent and 2 per cent. Over all, the trader’s track record at Moore Capital averaged annual returns of 4.7 per cent.

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