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Struggling hedge fund managers turn to psychologists to treat \'reverse affluenza\'

Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Author: Peter Taylor, Telegraph.co.uk

Mayfair-based investment consultancy Allenbridge, which offers a psychologist service for young people who inherit wealth, has instead found itself facing a growing demand for the service from struggling hedge fund managers and investment bankers.

Anthony Yadgaroff, chairman of the wealth management firm, told financial publishing group Citywire that "a couple of hedge fund managers have problems and we are expecting to see more come in".

"The last person we had in to the service was a hedge fund manager who was dealing with having had so much and losing it," Mr Yadgaroff said.

The development follows a disastrous year for the hedge fund sector, with the decimation in value of many funds prompting a flood of redemption notices, while thousands of investment banking positions have fallen victim to the global slowdown.

Citywire investment editor Charlie Parker said City bankers had been "the fastest growing group of wealthy people in Britain and now they are the fastest shrinking".

"Many were financing hugely expensive lifestyles through taking on large amounts of debt intended to get them through the year, in the hope that their bonus, when it came, would pay off the debt," Mr Parker said.

"As bonuses have collapsed they have been forced to radically reappraise their lifestyles and I would imagine it would require a pretty dramatic change in mindset."

Most clients of the Allenbridge service, which has been dubbed "Affluenza and Wealth" and is headed by Los Angeles-based psychologist Dr Ronit Lamit, are wealthy families. Mr Yadgaroff said a "Reverse Affluenza" service was emerging for bankers and hedge fund managers who lost their wealth or jobs.