The Australian – ARPAD Busson is angry. He has just looked at the returns of a hedge fund he used to invest in and they’re down more than 60 per cent in the past nine months.
"That a-hole!" Busson says of the New York-based manager, as he walks out of the conference room at the Mayfair offices of EIM, the $US11.5 billion ($16.2 billion) fund-of-hedge-funds firm of which he is founder and chairman. Although EIM yanked its money out of the fund in April 2008, when it was down only 25 per cent, there are too many like it out there, Busson says.
"If these managers are not focused on preservation of capital, they should not have the right to manage other people’s money," he says.
Busson’s opinion matters. Since he launched EIM in 1992 he has been instrumental in luring billions of dollars of public and corporate pension money into his and other funds of funds. The industry, which Busson helped pioneer, allows investors to spread their risk among hedge funds with different strategies.