Hedge fund Tell Investments falls silent

Date: Thursday, January 19, 2012
Author: Tommy Wilkes, Reuters

Hedge fund Tell Investments is pulling down the shutters on 15 years of trading, after deciding the market is too tough.

Its decision follows three years of disappointing performance.

The fund, which has offices in Switzerland, London and Malta, is closing its two principal funds -- the William and the Tell -- and has started returning some 600 million euros ($767 million) to investors, a spokesman told Reuters.

The third fund, the Walter, is being spun off into an independent firm -- Walter Capital Management -- run from Switzerland by Tell partner Olivier Laime, the spokesman said. The fund will begin trading under its new brand in February.

Patrick Schegg, Tell's chief investment officer, made the closure decision last year, the spokesman said.

The multi-strategy Tell and William Funds fell 5 percent in 2011, and have posted flat performance over three years.

At its peak, Tell, whose first fund was founded in 1996, ran around 1 billion euros. It employs 16 people, according to its website.

Many hedge funds struggled last year, wrongfooted by volatile markets. The average fund fell 4.8 percent in the 12 months to December 31, data compiled by Hedge Fund Research shows, leaving many without lucrative performance fees.