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Soros Hedge Fund Sued by Ex-Manager Seeking Back Fees

George Soros’s hedge fund was sued by a former portfolio manager who claims the firm wrongfully withheld at least $19.5 million in unpaid fees after firing him without explanation eight months into the job.

Aaron Cowen, who joined Soros Fund Management LLC in 2010 after serving as portfolio manager and chief investment officer at SAC Capital Advisors LP, had a “stellar” track record at Soros’s firm before being terminated in November 2011, according to a complaint in Manhattan state Supreme Court.

“Shockingly, Cowen’s employment was terminated despite his positive returns, when other Soros portfolio managers were failing,” according to the complaint filed July 3 and made public today.

Soros, 83, invited Cowen to his home in South Hampton, New York, days after the termination and told the former employee during a 30-minute conversation that he didn’t know why he’d been fired, according to the complaint. Soros told Cowen he’d been “doing very well,” Cowen claims.

Before the firing, Soros had told Cowen he wanted him to manage as much as $1 billion of the fund’s money by the end of 2011, due to his impressive performance in managing almost $800 million by July 2011, according to the complaint.

A phone call and e-mail to Soros’s press office after normal business hours wasn’t immediately returned.

Cowen, an analyst at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in the mid-1990s, earned “tens of millions” of dollars over a span of a few years before joining Soros, according to the complaint.

“You are going to make a lot of money for me and you,” Soros told Cowen when he was hired, according to the complaint.

The case is Cowen v. Soros Fund Management, 652055/2014, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

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