Moore Capital’s Coffey bows out as markets stymie hedge funds

Moore Capital Management LLC’s Greg Coffey is calling it quits amid markets that have proved difficult for even the most nimble hedge-fund investors.

The 41-year-old told investors yesterday in a letter that he’s leaving the hedge-fund industry after a trading career spanning almost two decades. He plans to spend more time with his family and in his home country Australia.

“It seems like he has lost his mojo,” said Vidak Radonjic, managing partner at Beryl Consulting Group LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey, which advises clients on investing in hedge funds. “Hedge-fund traders should be making money in both rising and falling markets.”

Coffey, who has lost money for clients in the past two years, follows other high-profile hedge-fund managers to step away from trading as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis and concerns over global economic growth roils markets. Chris Rokos, 42, a co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, retired to “pursue his personal interests,” the London-based firm said in August. Billionaire energy trader John Arnold, 38, former Morgan Stanley co-president Zoe Cruz, 57, and oil trader Pierre Andurand, 35, shuttered their hedge funds this year.

“The demands of my growing family mean that I am unable to commit to the market with the same intensity going forward,” London-based Coffey said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

High Praise

Coffey, who is co-chief investment officer of Moore’s European business, will return client money from his GC Emerging Macro Fund as of Nov. 30, he said in the letter.

Coffey, whom billionaire founder Louis Moore Bacon called “one of the most impressive traders in the world” when he hired him four years ago, has had mixed performance since joining New York-based Moore. That had fueled speculation among investors that he might leave.

Assets in Coffey’s macro fund have slumped to about $100 million from as much as $1.6 billion in 2010. The fund had fallen about 10 percent this year through August before recouping most of the loss last month, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named because the information is private. The fund lost 5 percent last year.

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