Shumway Capital Returns Capital to Investors, Will Manage Internal Assets ~ market folly

Friday, February 4, 2011

Shumway Capital Returns Capital to Investors, Will Manage Internal Assets

Chris Shumway's hedge fund Shumway Capital Partners sent out a letter to investors today notifying them that the fund will be returning capital to outside investors. The firm will live on, instead only managing internal capital. Shumway, who has seen 17% annual returns, is one of the widely regarded Tiger Cub hedge funds started by former members of Julian Robertson's Tiger Management.

Late last year, Chris Shumway announced that he would be stepping down from his Chief Investment Officer role. This initiated a wave of redemptions as investors in the funds became wary. Shumway writes,

"In a sense, these changes created more risk for many of you who committed to stay invested in SCP and makes short term results of the fund a primary issue for us all. As a result, it has become more difficult for us to focus on long term investing as we have for the last nine years, which I believe has been a main driver of our success."

It's obvious from the above that Shumway is not fond of Wall Street's and an investor's focus on short-term performance. We'd venture to guess that Shumway also somewhat tired of the 'corporate' nature of running a large investment firm. Catering to each investor's concerns meant less and less of his time was dedicated to investing.

Shumway isn't alone in his desire to focus on investing for the long-term. Fellow Tiger Cub manager Roberto Mignone of Bridger Management closed to new investors, effectively capping assets under management so that he could focus on investing rather than having to worry about running a large organization.

It will be interesting to see who stays behind at Shumway to manage internal capital and who leaves to start their own funds. There are already a few notable Shumway alums managing their own funds including John Thaler's JAT Capital, Anu Murgai's Suranya Capital Partners, and Matthew Crakes' Greenhart Capital. The reason we mention these established and potentially future Shum-alum funds is that some former SCP investors could potentially allocate capital there.

Shumway will return outside capital by the end of the first quarter, which undoubtedly means they'll be selling partial positions. Here are Shumway's top 10 holdings as of September 30th, 2010. We'll get an updated look at their holdings here in a few weeks, so keep in mind the below is quite dated:

1. Apple (AAPL)
2. Citigroup (C)
3. (PCLN)
4. Pfizer (PFE)
5. Las Vegas Sands (LVS)
6. Baidu (BIDU)
7. SPRD Gold Trust (GLD)
8. Target (TGT)
9. Air Products & Chemicals (APD)
10. BP (BP)

A screenshot of Chris Shumway's letter is posted below via ZeroHedge:

(click to enlarge)

It will be interesting to see what happens to Shumway's portfolio once outside capital has been returned and the fund is only managing internal capital.

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