Gradient close to collapse as hedge funds feel heat – The City-based European equity fund, which had $2.5bn under management at its peak, is now down over 63pc so far this year, leaving investors fearful it will be forced to close.

The “blow-up” is a mighty fall for the founders, Ivor Farman and Scott Pagel, who famously paid themselves £100m each over two years after producing stellar returns to their investors.

The pay deals placed the pair in the ranks of the UK’s 800 wealthiest people and among the 30 wealthiest hedge fund managers in the country.

Gradient made a net investment return for its investors of 56pc in 2005 and 47pc in 2006. In 2007 the founders paid themselves £109m, and £94m the year before that, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

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