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Lehman’s Hedge-Fund Clients Left in Cold as Assets Are Frozen

Bloomberg Europe – Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy probably means the end of hedge-fund manager Oak Group Inc. after 22 years in business.

John James, who runs the Chicago-based firm with $25 million of assets, didn’t buy Lehman stock or debt. Instead, his potentially fatal mistake was to rely on the bank’s prime brokerage in London, a unit that provides loans, clears trades and handles administrative chores for hedge funds. He’s one of dozens of investment managers whose Lehman prime-brokerage accounts were frozen when the company filed for protection from creditors on Sept. 15.

“We’re probably going out of business and liquidate, game over,” James, 59, said. “We’ve lost 70 percent of our assets.”

The list of funds trapped in the Lehman morass keeps growing. London-based MKM Longboat Capital Advisors LLP said last week it will close its $1.5 billion Multi-Strategy fund in part because of assets stuck at Lehman, according to an investor letter.

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