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March 28 (Bloomberg) -- OVS Capital Management LLP, a $310 million London-based hedge-fund firm, is shutting after founder Sam Morland decided to retire.

OVS will close its OVS Capital Fund and return all money to investors, Nick McEwen, the firm’s co-chief executive officer, said in an interview. The hedge fund, which gained 2.78 percent this year through February, follows an event-driven strategy of investing in European companies that may pursue corporate actions such as acquisitions and share buybacks.

Morland, 48, joins other London hedge-fund managers, including Greg Coffey and Pierre-Henri Flamand, who’ve decided to leave the industry over the past two years amid markets challenged by slow economic growth in Europe. Globally, 904 hedge funds closed last year, the highest total since 2009, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc.

OVS started trading in October 2010, gaining 3.26 percent over the final three months of that year, according to a fund performance report. The fund rose 7.82 percent in 2011, 1.44 percent in 2012 and 7.51 percent in 2013. European event-driven hedge funds fell 5.62 percent on average in 2011, rose 9 percent in 2012 and gained 11 percent last year, according to Eurekahedge Pte, a Singapore-based data provider.

OVS started trading with $8 million of assets, McEwen said. The firm grew to manage more than $520 million by April 2012 and restricted client investments, he said. Morland was previously CEO of the European office for HBK Capital Management, a Dallas-based hedge-fund firm.

“We are extremely grateful to our investors for all of their support,” McEwen said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jesse Westbrook in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Evans at Steve Bailey

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