October 5, 2018 / 8:56 PM / a year ago

Gulati's Antara Capital launches with Blackstone money

BOSTON (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Himanshu Gulati, who received startup capital from Blackstone Group LP, launched Antara Capital Partners this week with roughly $200 million in assets, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The New York-based firm will focus on making event-driven investments and can shift to distressed investing, the people said.

Blackstone wrote a $150 million check to Antara through its Strategic Alliance Fund III, a so-called seeding fund that helps incubate promising hedge fund managers who are starting out. Corbin Capital Partners also committed money to Antara, said one of the people, who were not permitted to speak publicly about the private fund. Corbin Capital is expected to add additional money over the coming year, the person said.

Antara, Blackstone Group and Corbin declined to comment.

Before launching his own fund, Gulati was the head of U.S. Distressed Credit and Special Situations at Man GLG for three years. Before that he worked at Perry Capital, Richard Perry’s former hedge fund which was shuttered in 2016.

At Antara, Gulati will be working long-term colleagues Rick Paige and Eric Mason. Paige and Gulati worked together at Man and Perry while Gulati and Mason worked together at Man.

David Lieberman will be the head trader and previously worked at Moore Capital where he was head of credit execution. Lance Kravitz, also a Perry Capital alumnus, is the firm’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Blackstone raised roughly $1.5 billion in capital for its third seeding fund and roughly a year ago it wrote its first check from that fund, committing $100 million to Keita Arisawa’s Hong Kong-based Seiga Asset Management.

Recent data from Hedge Fund Research show that fewer hedge funds are launching this year than in last two years at a time where it has become increasingly difficult to raise money as clients complain about funds’ generally lackluster returns and high fees. At the same time though, the data show that fewer funds are going out of business.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Tom Brown

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