Wes Swank of Kyle Bass’s Hayman Capital Dies at 31 in Car Crash

G. Wes Swank
G. Wes Swank, managing director for energy and natural resources at Hayman Capital Management LP, the hedge fund run by Kyle Bass, died yesterday in a car accident. He was 31. Source: Hayman Capital Management

Wes Swank, managing director for energy and natural resources at Hayman Capital Management LP, the hedge fund run by Kyle Bass, died on Dec. 4 in a car accident. He was 31.

Police in Dallas found Swank dead inside a Mercedes that had run off the road and struck a tree, the Dallas Morning News said on its website. Public records showed he was less than a mile from his condominium, the newspaper reported.

Swank joined Dallas-based Hayman in March 2008, after working in the mergers and acquisitions group of Citigroup Inc.’s investment banking unit. He began working at New York-based Citigroup in 2005, according to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filing.

“It is amazing how we have so much and so little control over our lives at the same time,” Bass, who earned attention by making $500 million betting against subprime mortgages during the 2007 crash, said yesterday in an e-mail to friends and colleagues. “Wes was one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, caring and vibrant individuals I have ever known. We are suffering a profound and deep sense of loss throughout the entire Hayman family, and our world has been forever changed by the loss of this great man.”

Bass -- who isn’t related to Fort Worth’s billionaire Bass family -- said he noticed a quote taped to Swank’s computer monitor that says:

“I go to work every day with people smarter than me, who are better at what they do than me. I go to the gym every day and work out with people stronger and faster than me. I spend my spare time with friends and family whose values and quality of character I aspire to reflect. For all of these reasons, I get a little better, every day.”

Good Pick

In November 2011, Swank spoke at the AR Symposium, an annual hedge-fund event in New York, and recommended buying shares of McMoRan Exploration Co., an oil and gas producer, HedgeFund Intelligence Ltd., a London-based data provider, said on its website.

Within five weeks the stock rose 27 percent, then declined. Yesterday, it jumped 87 percent after the New Orleans-based company agreed to be acquired by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., for a gain of 22 percent since Swank’s recommendation. The Russell 2000 Energy Index declined 11 percent over the same period.

Class Valedictorian

Galen Weston Swank was born on July 21, 1981, in Houston to Mark and Libby Swank. He earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the Virginia Military Institute in 2003, achieving class valedictorian. He received a master’s in business administration from Stanford University in 2005, according to a biography supplied by Hayman.

In a 2010 Wall Street Journal article, Swank was quoted as saying he was pleased he had decided to go directly from college to business school.

“I’m glad I didn’t have to leave a job and put my life on hold for two years,” he said, according to the article.

Swank and his wife, the former Allison Gerard, were married in 2010. The two met through a mutual friend when they were 19, according to a story about their engagement in D Magazine.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by their 3-month-old daughter, Charlotte.

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