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Hedge Funds

Hedge fund firm Polygon hires CEO to aid recovery

LONDON (Reuters) - Hedge fund firm Polygon Investment Partners hired its first ever chief executive to lead the restructuring of its business following big losses in the credit crisis and the decision to wind down its main fund.

Polygon, which managed $8.5 billion (5.4 billion pounds) before a 48 percent loss in its flagship fund in 2008 helped push assets down as low as $3 billion, hired Jorge Villon as CEO and partner, it said in a statement.

The move will allow founder and partner Paddy Dear to focus on strategic initiatives, while Reade Griffiths will continue to devote most of his time to fund management, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Villon was formerly the chief executive of MKM Longboat, where Mike Humphries, who now manages Polygon’s convertible arbitrage fund, previously worked.

Hiring a chief executive who focuses on managing the business rather than running a fund has become increasingly common for medium and larger-sized hedge fund firms, where the founders often want to spend their time running money.

Polygon has been trying to reinvent itself since the crisis and now manages $5.5 billion in assets across a range of different funds.

Its European Equity Opportunity fund made more than 28 percent last year while its Convertible Opportunity fund returned around 25 percent.

Meanwhile, its flagship fund, which began winding down after investing in illiquid assets, is on track to be fully liquidated by the end of the first quarter, the source said. (Editing by Sinead Cruise and Sharon Lindores)

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