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Seth Tobias, Hedge-Fund Boss and TV Commentator, Dies

Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Author: Demian McLean and Katherine Burton, Bloomberg.com

Seth Tobias, the managing member of hedge-fund firm Circle T Partners LP and a financial-news commentator, was found dead yesterday in the pool of his Florida mansion, police said. He was 44.

Tobias was discovered by his wife, Filomena, who called police to their home near Palm Beach, Florida, just before 1 a.m., said Jupiter police Sergeant Scott Pascarella.

The death hasn't been classified as suspicious, Pascarella said. Results of the autopsy, which was conducted yesterday, won't be available for four to eight weeks, he said.

Tobias's family has a history of coronary disease, said Spence Tobias, Seth's brother and a money manager at Circle T.

``It was apparently a heart attack,'' he said by telephone from New York. Another brother, Sam, also works at the firm.

Seth Tobias appeared frequently on television channels including Bloomberg and CNBC to comment on the stock markets and other issues.

Circle T, which invests in stocks and manages $200 million, Spence Tobias said. The fund owned 9.4 percent of QSGI Inc., a computer-services company based in Hightstown, New Jersey, and in June, Tobias wrote a letter to the company saying he was interested in obtaining two board seats. QSGI shares fell 12 cents, or 18 percent, to 55 cents yesterday in U.S. over-the- counter trading. They climbed to 69 cents today.

`Tremendous Insight'

``As one of our largest shareholders, he brought tremendous insight and was a major asset to the company,'' Marc Sherman, QSGI chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. ``We would like to wish our condolences to his family and colleagues.''

Earlier this year, Tobias won an NASD arbitration case against Bank of America Corp., which paid Circle T $850,000. Tobias claimed that the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank, which served as the hedge fund's prime broker, had ignored signs that a trader at Circle T had made unauthorized trades. Circle T executives discovered the trades in June 2005, and Tobias personally reimbursed investors for the losses.

Seth Tobias was born in Philadelphia on April 8, 1963. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in finance from Boston University.

His first job on Wall Street, in 1987, was as a futures trader at Moseley Securities. He briefly worked with hedge-fund manager Jim Cramer and was an assistant trader at New York & Foreign Securities before joining JRO Associates, where he spent five years as a portfolio manager and equity trader.

He founded Circle T in 1996 with $4 million.

Tobias is survived by his wife; stepsons Jacob and Roger; brothers Sam, Spence, Scot and Josh; his mother, Elaine; his father, Sidney; and two step-parents, Mary Ann and Joel.

To contact the reporters on this story: Demian McLean in Washington at dmclean8@bloomberg.net ; Katherine Burton in New York at kburton@bloomberg.net