January 29, 2016 / 8:35 PM / 4 years ago

MOVES-Paulson & Co. partner departs to launch hedge fund firm

NEW YORK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Samantha Greenberg, a partner at $16.2 billion Paulson & Co., is leaving to launch her own hedge fund firm, according to people familiar with the situation.

Greenberg’s new venture will use a long-short equity investment strategy, meaning it will bet on stocks both gaining and losing in value, according to the people. Her last day is Friday, Jan. 29.

Greenberg and a spokesman for Paulson, led by billionaire John Paulson, declined to comment.

Greenberg, a veteran of Goldman Sachs’ Special Situations investment group, joined Paulson in 2009. She worked on the firm’s investments based on corporate events such as mergers, particularly in the media, cable and consumer sectors.

Greenberg, as part of a team, led some of the firm’s successful event-driven investments, according to a public biography. It said these included Cablevision, Family Dollar, Time Warner Cable, Sara Lee and Hillshire Brands, WhiteWave, AMC Networks and Comcast .

Greenberg would be a rarity in the hedge fund industry: a woman leading investments for her own firm. She was named to the Hedge Fund Journal and Ernst & Young’s 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds for 2013. Just 16 of the 50 women on the 2015 version of the list were portfolio managers, as opposed to investors in hedge funds, those in senior operational roles, or industry service providers.

Paulson’s main event-driven hedge fund, Paulson International, fell 2.8 percent over 2015 net of fees. That was better than a nearly 6 percent loss for the Absolute Return Event Driven Index, which tracks similar funds. Paulson International has averaged annual returns of 10.75 percent since inception in 1996.

Another partner at Paulson, Dan Kamensky, left last year to launch his own firm. Paulson’s assets under management have declined from nearly $23 billion on March 1, 2014 and $19.3 billion as of March 1, 2015. (Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne; Editing by David Gregorio)

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