July 23, 2018 / 1:55 PM / 3 months ago

Leon Cooperman to shut down hedge fund, will keep managing own wealth

LONDON (Reuters) - American billionaire Leon Cooperman said in a letter to investors seen by Reuters that he plans to close his Omega Advisors hedge fund firm and give investors their money back but would continue to manage his own personal wealth.

FILE PHOTO: Leon G. Cooperman, CEO of Omega Advisors, Inc., speaks on a panel at the annual Skybridge Alternatives Conference (SALT) in Las Vegas May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Cooperman said that all outside capital in the New York-based fund would be returned by year-end and that he no longer wished to focus on generating returns on investors’ capital.

Omega Advisors currently manages $3.7 billion in assets, according to a spokesman for the firm.

“This decision is a very personal one driven not by any health concerns, but solely by how I want to spend my remaining years,” Cooperman said in the letter. “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life chasing the S&P 500.”

Cooperman said one of the hedge funds run by the firm, the Omega Credit Opportunities Fund, would continue to be managed by Sam Martini and Eric Schneider under a new name.

Omega Advisors portfolio manager Rebecca Pacholder will launch a new hedge fund focused on high yield debt and distressed securities.

Cooperman said he would be a substantial investor in both funds.

In May 2017, Cooperman and Omega Advisors agreed to pay a $4.95 million fine to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission insider trading lawsuit against them.

Reporting by Maiya Keidan; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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