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Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Doug Gordon, Jon Hilsabeck and Don Jabro, former money managers at Vinik Asset Management LP, have opened their own investment startup after the hedge-fund firm run by Jeffrey Vinik shut earlier this year, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Shellback Capital LP, which will bet on and against U.S. stocks, has 10 employees, nine of whom formerly worked at Vinik, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Vinik is investing an undisclosed amount of his personal money in the new hedge-fund firm, which is based in Boston and will start trading in January, the person said.
Vinik decided to close his $6 billion firm in May after the money manager made ill-timed bets on gold and the direction of stocks. Since then, managers who worked at the firm have been setting up their own hedge funds. Vinik provided $20 million in startup capital for Tampa, Florida-based Kopernik Global Investors LLC, run by his former stock picker David Iben. More than half of Kopernik’s staff of 28 came from Iben’s global- value group at Vinik Asset Management.
Gordon, Hilsabeck and Jabro together managed about $1.8 billion at the peak for Vinik Asset Management, the person said. Gordon worked at the Boston-based firm from 2001 to 2013 and became a money manager in 2002. He started managing a long-short equity fund in January 2003. Long-short equity managers can bet on rising as well as falling stocks.
Hilsabeck worked at Vinik Asset Management from 1999 to 2013 and became a money manager in 2004, the person said. In 2005, he started managing a long-short equity fund. Jabro worked at Vinik’s firm from 1998 to 2013 and became a money manager in 2002, the person said. He started managing a stocks fund in 2003.
Bradford Ali, Shellback Capital’s chief operating officer and general counsel, declined to comment on the plans. Before Shellback, Ali was chief compliance officer and counsel at Vinik Asset Management, where he started in 2011, the person said.
Vinik’s hedge-fund firm, started after the money manager left Fidelity Investments in the mid-1990s, posted annualized returns of 17 percent since 1996. Vinik told clients in a May letter that he would return all their money to focus on the professional hockey team he bought in 2010 and charitable work, after his fund declined 4.8 percent since July 2012. Vinik bought the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League and the St. Pete Times Forum, since renamed the Tampa Bay Times Forum, for about $110 million in February 2010.
--Editors: Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam, Josh Friedman