* New fund Mirarc Capital Management to be based in Houston
* Goldfinch's Thielke, ex-energy broker Cochran co-founders (Updates with launch target for fund, quote from co-founder)
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, May 13 A former portfolio manager at Houston-based energy hedge fund Goldfinch Capital is expected to launch a natural gas-focused fund in a couple of months, his partner said on Tuesday.
Mirarc Capital Management will also be located in Houston and will have ex-Goldfinch trader Rick Thielke and Brandon Cochran, former energy broker at New York's Cornerstone Global Commodities, as co-founders, Cochran told Reuters.
"We are targeting a July launch," Cochran, who is also portfolio manager at the new fund, said in an email sent from his LinkedIn account.
Mirarc will have a third employee, Divya Brown, who will be its chief operating officer, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Energy news website Sparkspread was the first to report about Mirarc on Tuesday. It said Thielke had left Goldfinch to set up the new fund, which it said was expected to receive "substantial" backing from an institutional investor.
Thielke could not immediately be reached for comment.
As of Tuesday, he had not updated his move to Mirarc on his LinkedIn page, which still listed him as a portfolio manager at Goldfinch.
Thielke joined Goldfinch in January last year from SandRidge Capital, another Houston-based natural-gas focused hedge fund where he was portfolio manager and head of analytics for 3-1/2 years.
Prior to SandRidge, Thielke held commodity trading roles with a unit of Louis Dreyfus Commodities in Brazil and with Merrill Lynch Commodities, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Cochran was previously managing partner for natural gas derivatives at Cornerstone, according to his LinkedIn page. Prior to that, he was a trader for seven years at Houston-based high-frequency trading firm Quantlab Financial.
Brown was most recently associate general counsel at oilfield services company Aker Solutions in Houston, according to her profile.
Both Cochran and Brown gave May as their start date at Mirarc on their LinkedIn profiles. (Reporting By Barani Krishnan; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)