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Friday, March 22, 2019

Another Amaranth Alum Loses Big


Date: Friday, December 7, 2007
Author: HFN Daily Report

Whoever did the hiring at Amaranth sure knew how to pick 'em. Make no mistake-in the Amaranth Alumni Hall of Fame, Brian Hunter is numero uno. After all, that $6.6 billion didn't just flush itself down the toilet. But with Hunter getting all the press, it's easy to overlook the shallow end of the talent pool: guys who maybe didn't necessarily put the company out of business, but nonetheless were still capable of posting that solid, double-digit loss.

Manos Vourkoutiotis is one of those guys. Like Hunter, Vourkoutiotis found life after the collapse: hauling an erstwhile Amaranth trading team with him to his new gig at esteemed hedge fund Moore Capital Management. And, like Hunter, Vourkoutiotis has demonstrated his talent for losing his employer money. His team, trading equity and fixed-income, lost 15% in November, according to a report. But the comparisons don't end there. Like Hunter, Vourkoutiotis is-yup, you guessed it-Canadian.

The Toronto, Canada, unit of New York-headquartered Moore Capital comprised of Vourkoutiotis and his Amaranth refugee camp managed $1 billion before the decline. Moore Capital, run by hedge fund legend Louis Bacon, is a commodity and global macro specialist with $13 billion under management. Bacon himself is worth around $1 billion.

It would be inappropriate and downright crazy to suggest the 38-year-old Vourkoutiotis, like Hunter, might lack the wherewithal to keep abreast of a vague ol' term called risk management. As it is, November has its acceptance speech prepared for the upcoming "Worst Month for the Asset Class Since 2000" award ceremony set to go down sometime in the next week. But it's tempting to wonder if some of that bad Brian Hunter mojo rubbed off on Vourkoutiotis during their time together at The 'Ranth.

In September 2006, supposedly "multi-strategy" hedge fund outfit Amaranth lost $6.6 billion-that's 70% of its managed capital-because star trader Hunter bet wrong on the price of natural gas. The defunct Connecticut hedge fund is facing legal action over its demise. Hunter, meanwhile, has put together his own Solengo Capital.