Cantillon Said to Close Hedge Funds in Strategy Shift

Date: Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Author: Saijel Kishan, Bloomberg

Cantillon Capital Management LLC, a $4.5 billion asset-management firm run by William von Mueffling, is closing its two hedge funds to focus on traditional investing, according to people familiar with the matter.

The firm plans to return money to clients of its $2.7 billion Cantillon World fund and $800 million Cantillon European fund by the end of September, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Rupert Tyer, a spokesman for New York-based Cantillon, declined to comment.

The firm is offering clients the option of moving into its long-only strategies, which buy securities on the expectation they will rise in value. Von Mueffling, 41, a former Lazard LLC portfolio manager who started Cantillon in 2003, oversees more than $1 billion in long-only assets, said the people.

“There’s more opportunity to take advantage of a market where there’s more upside than downside, especially following the crisis we have seen,” said Amit Shabi, a partner at Geneva- based Bernheim Dreyfus & Co., which invests client money in hedge funds.

Hedge funds have returned about 9.8 percent this year after posting average losses of 19 percent in 2008, the most since Hedge Fund Research Inc. started tracking data in 1990.

Cantillon’s European fund lost 11 percent last year, according to an investor letter.

Hedge funds are private, lightly regulated pools of capital whose managers can buy or sell any assets, bet on falling as well as rising asset prices and participate in profits from money invested.

To contact the reporter on this story: Saijel Kishan in New York at