Hedge-Fund Chief Welch’s Son Charged in Death of Friend

A New York teenager out for a late- night drive in an all-terrain vehicle was charged with negligent vehicular homicide under the influence of alcohol after a crash that killed his passenger and prep-school roommate at the luxury Yellowstone Club resort in Montana.

James Sinclair Welch, 19, son of Welch Capital Partners LLC founder Leighton Welch of Bronxville, was arrested about 11:50 p.m. on Aug. 2 by the Montana Highway Patrol, according to state court documents. The victim, Parker Regan, 19, of Mendham, New Jersey, was a son of R. Christopher Regan, co-founder of the Chartis Group, a health-care consultancy.

The accident occurred at the Yellowstone Club, a private ski and golf resort near Big Sky, Montana. Members include Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, Tour de France cycling champion Greg LeMond and Cliff Asness, co-founder of the hedge fund AQR Capital Management LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Welch was driving a 2012 Polaris Ranger Crew, a four-wheel- drive vehicle, and told police he was making a left turn on Andesite Ridge Road when Regan “fell out,” according to an affidavit by Trooper Joshua Brown and a citation he issued.

On April 17, Welch was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in a separate incident, according to the affidavit. It didn’t say where that conviction occurred.

$50,000 Bail

Welch was held in jail until about 5 p.m. yesterday, when he appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court in Bozeman, Montana, posted $50,000 bail, and was released, according to Officer Wylie Herrera at the Gallatin County Detention Center.

Welch’s attorney, William Bartlett of Angel, Coil & Bartlett in Bozeman, didn’t return telephone calls seeking comment. Leighton Welch, reached in Montana, declined to comment.

Christopher Regan said his son and James Welch were roommates at Suffield Academy, a boarding school in Suffield, Connecticut. He said his son was vacationing with the Welch family in Montana.

Welch Capital, with offices on Park Avenue in New York, had $350 million in assets at the end of December, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved, and the club is cooperating fully with local authorities,” said Greg Hitt, a spokesman for the Yellowstone Club.

Hitt declined to comment on whether the ATV Welch was driving was owned by the club.

$300,000 Fee

Membership in the club, acquired by Boston-based CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC in 2009, is limited primarily to those who own property there. Prices range from more than $2 million for a condominium to $18 million for a ranch with 350 acres. Members pay a $300,000 initiation fee that they get back if they sell their property. Dues are $30,000 a year.

The club is managed by Discovery Land Co., a Scottsdale, Arizona, developer of similar luxury projects in Hawaii, California, Mexico and the Bahamas.

Christopher Regan’s father was John MacVeigh Regan Jr., former chairman and chief executive officer of Marsh & McLennan Cos. (MMC), according to a 1991 wedding announcement in the New York Times. John Regan died in 2011, according to an obituary published in the newspaper.

After the incident, Welch refused to submit to a breath test and blood test, according to patrolman Brown’s report. He smelled of alcohol and his eyes were watery and bloodshot, the report said. His clothes were bloody.

Montana officers were able to obtain a blood sample from Welch after getting a search warrant by telephone from a Madison County district judge, the report said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Anthony Effinger in Portland at aeffinger@bloomberg.net; Saijel Kishan in New York at skishan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: William Glasgall at wglasgall@bloomberg.net

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