SocGen’s Yu Is Said to Start Hedge Fund With $250 Million

Wayne Yu, head of event-driven investment at Societe Generale SA in New York, is starting his own hedge fund in the first quarter of next year, according to a person familiar with his plans.

The French bank will invest $250 million in New York-based Condorcet Global Opportunity Fund, which will trade the stocks of companies going through corporate changes, including mergers and restructurings, said the person, who asked not to be named because the fund is private.

Hedge-fund starts are on track this year to reach the highest number since 2007, after 585 firms were opened in the first half of 2013, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc. Ben Brill and Markus Homor, currently analysts for Yu, will join the new firm, and Steven Heller, chief operating officer for Yu’s team, will become Condorcet’s COO.

Condorcet will use the back office of Societe Generale’s money-management arm, Lyxor Asset Management, and will otherwise operate independently.

Yu, Brill, Homor and Heller all declined to comment on the plans. Jim Galvin, a spokesman for Societe Generale, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking a comment.

The portfolio run by Yu, 42, and his team returned 8 percent a year on average since the beginning of 2010, the person said. That compares with 6.8 percent for an index of event-driven funds compiled by Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc. This year, the fund was up 6 percent through September, compared with 12 percent for the index.

Prior to joining Societe Generale in November 2009, Yu worked for six years at Ken Griffin’s Citadel LLC in Chicago. Before joining Citadel, he was a mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz for six years.

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