GLG co-chief Gottesman moving to New York: sources

NEW YORK Mon May 18, 2009 4:30pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - GLG Partners Inc GLG.N Chairman and co-CEO Noam Gottesman, founder of one of London's biggest and best-known hedge fund groups, is moving to New York in July in a push for more U.S. investors, people familiar with the situation said on Monday.

The move comes as GLG, which became a New York Stock Exchange-listed company through a reverse merger in late 2007, tries to reverse a year of outflows.

"As you get bigger, as you become a public company, you have to start thinking about expanding globally and the U.S. is still the single largest market for what they do," said Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst Robert Lee, who follows asset management companies.

GLG declined to comment.

Last October, GLG management told investors during a conference call that a firm that grew up focused on European markets has so far done "de minimis" business in the United States. Sending Gottesman -- one of the G's of GLG -- puts weight behind that initiative.

KBW's Lee observed that international expansion for GLG was one of the opportunities that attracted investors to the firm's New York debut.

GLG stock surged about 14 percent to close at $3.70 a share in Monday trading.

London's Daily Telegraph, which was first to report Gottesman's transfer plans on Sunday, said he would move to New York with his wife and four children. A new Manhattan home has been secured, the paper said, in addition to a beach house he already owns in the ritzy Hamptons section of Long Island.

GLG co-Chief Executive Emmanuel Roman will continue to run the firm's European business, the sources told Reuters.

GLG's push for new assets follows a rough year, as star manager Greg Coffey departed and poor fund performance prompted many investors to flee.

Last week, GLG reported a first-quarter drop in assets and said client redemptions continued. Assets under management fell 43 percent to $14 billion over the year ended March 31.

GLG gained $4 billion of new assets through an acquisition that closed on April 3.

GLG made a splash in New York in June 2007 when it became one of the first hedge fund managers to seek a stock listing. Rather than execute an initial public offering, GLG merged with a special purpose acquisition company in a deal valuing the hedge fund firm at $3.4 billion.

But the timing was bad for public investors because hedge fund performance and assets have gone south since. GLG, which managed more than $20 billion when it announced the reverse merger, has seen its shares sink 77 percent and its market value drop to less than $900 million.

The firm last week announced it sold $214 million of notes, using the proceeds to buy back outstanding loans at a steep discount.

(Reporting by Joseph Giannone; editing by John Wallace and Andre Grenon)

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