* Taps Sang Lee as president, chief compliance officer
* Hires outsider as president
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Touradji Capital Management, one of the world’s largest commodities-oriented hedge funds, has revamped its management ranks by hiring an outsider as its first-ever president, the firm told its investors.
Paul Touradji’s $2.5 billion firm appointed Sang Lee as president and chief compliance officer, and said that Gil Caffray, who joined as CEO last year year, will be a special adviser, according to a letter obtained by Reuters on Monday.
The letter was written on Friday.
Lee, a lawyer, will be responsible for non-investment activities at the firm while Caffray will concentrate more fully on planning, the firm said.
The news comes as a handful of prominent hedge fund managers launch their own firms and established firms are initiating changes. It has been a tough year for the secretive $1.9 trillion industry as managers faced volatile markets, fears about slow growth and a wave of new regulations.
Touradji’s most recent letter sounds a distinctly different tone from the exuberance expressed by its founder a year ago when he told investors about plans to reunite with Caffray.
Touradji and Caffray trace their roots to working together at industry luminary Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management where Touradji credited Caffray with teaching him about the “trading, operations and business elements of a well run hedge fund.”
“With no exaggeration, this is the most important event in our firm’s history,” Touradji wrote to clients on January 26, 2009, according to another letter obtained by Reuters. Caffray, Touradji said, would “stand beside me in running the business, thus allowing me to concentrate fulltime on running our portfolios.”
After Tiger, Caffray co-founded hedge fund firm FrontPoint Partners, and after selling the firm to Morgan Stanley, he became vice chairman in Morgan Stanley’s Investment Management division.
Lee was chief operating officer at hedge fund Duma Capital Partners and before that he was chief operating officer at Claiborne Capital Management.
For Touradji, performance has been mixed this year, people familiar with his numbers said, pointing to losses in August after a strong July. (Editing by Robert MacMillan)