Monday, November 29, 2010

GM Patrick Wolff to start his own Hedge Fund

Clarium's Amazing Chess Player Is Leaving Peter Thiel To Start A New Hedge Fund

Courtney Comstock | Nov. 29, 2010, 3:58 PM |

Clarium's Patrick Wolff is spinning out of the fund to form his own hedge fund, Grand Master Capital.

The fact that Wolff, a former general manager at the firm, is leaving underscores another bad year for Clarium, a fund which sprung out of the gate with amazing (+57.4%) returns but then began performing terribly.

This year alone Thiel has seen investors leave and his returns head into the double-digit negatives.

We've heard from an investor that most of the money in Clarium right now is Thiel's, so the fund shouldn't be damaged by the loss of a star manager like other hedge funds have been when star portfolio managers leave.

And the move must be amicable, because Clarium's founding manager, Peter Thiel, will seed the fund with $50 million.

Wolff's personal returns are a mystery at this point, but if his ability to play chess says anything about his investing skills (and he's expecting it to - his new fund, Grand Master Capital, is named for Wolff's title as a chess champion and international grand master), get ready to be amazed.

Wolff's ELO, his "batting average," is 2564, which is top-level. There's technically no "best" ELO rating, but if you're in the 2700s, you're among the best in the world.

Wolff is currently ranked number 393 in the world.

So in terms of vanity hedge funds names (which are usually names or initials or properties managers own), Wolff's is pretty awesome.

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