Bommer Is Returning Money From Hedge Fund SAB After 17 Years

Scott Bommer, founder of SAB Capital Management LP, is returning all client money from his hedge fund after 17 years so that he can focus on managing his own wealth.

SAB Capital will return most money before mid January, Bommer said in an investor letter Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg. The firm posted a 10.6 percent loss in the first eight months of the year in its SAB Overseas Fund, according to an investor document. Bommer started New York-based SAB Capital in 1998, and oversaw $1.1 billion as of the end of last year, according to a government filing.

“Over that time I’ve often thought this was one of the best professional opportunities one could imagine,” Bommer, who is a regular on the New York and Hamptons social scene with his wife Donya, said in the Dec. 29 letter. He didn’t give a reason for his decision.

Bommer is at least the third hedge-fund manager to announce plans this month to give back money to clients and focus on investing his own wealth. Doug Hirsch said he’s returning money to investors of his Seneca Capital Investments after almost 20 years. Billionaire Michael Platt is ending his 15-year career of managing client money, saying earlier this month that he wants to focus on trading his own capital and that of employees at his BlueCrest Capital Management.

SAB Capital’s move adds to a roster of hedge funds, both large and small, that have shuttered this year as managers struggled to navigate markets roiled by the Swiss franc’s unexpected surge, the devaluation of the Chinese yuan and declines in oil prices. According to data from Hedge Fund Research Inc., 674 hedge funds liquidated in the first nine months of the year, compared with 661 in the same period during 2014.

Hedge funds on average have returned 0.4 percent this year through November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Long-short equity hedge funds have gained 2 percent.

Fortress Investment Group LLC, BlackRock Inc. and LionEye Capital Management are among firms that have shut hedge funds.

Patrick Clifford, a spokesman for SAB Capital at Abernathy MacGregor, declined to comment on the changes.