| NEW YORK, March 13
NEW YORK, March 13 Robert Lacoursiere, the
Paulson & Co partner who oversaw the hedge fund's investments in
the banking sector, quit last week according to people familiar
with the departure.
Lacoursiere is leaving to launch his own hedge fund, those
people said. His exit was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.
The 49-year-old Lacoursiere joined Paulson in March 2008
after almost four years with Banc of America Securities. He held
positions at Capital One, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns
earlier in his career.
Another member of the Paulson financials team, analyst Zach
Gast, left the hedge fund in December, according to people with
knowledge of the move.
A spokesman for Paulson declined to comment on the
Gast joined Paulson in April 2009, after about four years as
an analyst at RiskMetrics Group. He spoke alongside some of
Paulson's top deputies, including Andrew Hoine and Lacoursiere,
at a panel discussion on financials at an investor conference
for Paulson's Advantage fund in Las Vegas last year.
Financials were a sore point for Paulson in 2011. Its
Advantage Plus fund lost 52 percent, while hedge funds on
average, lost about 5 percent.
The Paulson Advantage fund, the unlevered version of the
Advantage Plus Fund and the firm's largest portfolio, lost 36
percent last year. The Standard and Poor's 500 stock index ended
2011 roughly unchanged.
Those funds were hurt in part by big, unsuccessful bets on
companies including Bank of America and Hartford
After gaining 5 percent in the first month of the year,
Paulson's Advantage Plus Fund dropped 1.5 percent in February,
while the Advantage Fund dipped 0.8 percent. Hedge funds, on
average, rose 2.14 percent in February, according to Hedge Fund