2008-12-04bloomberg.com

D.E. Shaw & Co. LP, the investment firm run by David Shaw, and Farallon Capital Management LLC limited withdrawals by clients, joining more than 80 hedge-fund managers to impose restrictions in the past two months.

D.E. Shaw, which oversees $36 billion, capped redemptions from its Composite and Oculus funds, said two people familiar with the New York-based company. Farallon, a $30 billion firm based in San Francisco, did the same with its biggest fund after investors asked to get back more than 25 percent of their money.

The firms are two of the biggest to block withdrawals, known as putting up gates, so they aren't forced to liquidate investments at distressed prices to raise cash. New York-based Fortress Investment Group LLC said yesterday it froze an $8 billion fund after getting redemption requests for 40 percent of its assets. Tudor Investment Corp., the Greenwich, Connecticut, firm run by Paul Tudor Jones, locked the $10 billion BVI Global fund last week ahead of plans to split the fund into two.

“There's no longer the stigma associated with putting up gates or suspending redemptions as it was before this crisis,” said Jaeson Dubrovay, head of the $19 billion hedge-fund group at consulting firm NEPC LLC in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “It's actually being encouraged by some large institutions as a way to protect longer-term investors from those who panic and redeem.”

...

The gate on D.E. Shaw's Oculus fund was triggered after the company received redemption requests for more than 8 percent of assets, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The fund, which tries to profit from global economic trends, is up about 10 percent this year, compared with the average 16.4 percent decline for the industry through October, Hedge Fund Research reported.

...

Even hedge funds that are outperforming peers have been hit by redemptions because they are a more ready source for cash for investors. Shaw, 57, started his firm in 1988 and has 1,600 employees worldwide.

Heads, you lose; tails, investors redeem anyway.


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