Lampert Says Fund’s President Leaves After Miami Move

ESL Investments Inc., the hedge fund run by Edward Lampert, said President William C. Crowley left after deciding not to move with the firm to Miami.

Crowley, 54, had served as ESL’s president and chief operating officer since January 1999. Lampert relocated his firm earlier this month from Greenwich, Connecticut, according to a regulatory filing today. The move followed his purchase earlier this year of a seven-bedroom mansion in Florida’s Biscayne Bay for almost $40 million.

“Bill Crowley determined that he was unable to relocate to Miami for personal reasons,” Steve Lipin, a spokesman for ESL, said in an e-mailed statement.

ESL controls Sears Holdings Corp., the parent of the Sears and Kmart department-store chains. The hedge fund had 19 employees and about $10.6 billion in gross assets under management at the end of last year, according to an investment adviser registration filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in February.

Lipin declined to comment beyond the statement, which noted that Crowley continues to serve on the boards of companies in which ESL has invested, including AutoZone Inc., AutoNation Inc., Sears Canada and Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corp. He is also a consultant to Sears, according to the statement.

Prior to joining ESL, Crowley was a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to a proxy statement filed by AutoNation. Before starting ESL in 1988, Lampert, 49, also worked at Goldman Sachs under former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

Crowley helped run Sears after Lampert acquired the company in 2005, serving as chief financial officer for several years and as chief administrative officer until January 2011. Crowley, who held personal stakes in some of the same companies as ESL, controlled about 164,732 Sears shares, according to a March 16 proxy statement filed with the SEC by the retailer.

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