Ex-Soros Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager Loses Bid for Fees

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A former portfolio manager for George Soros’s hedge fund lost a bid for millions of dollars in fees he alleged were wrongfully withheld from him when he was fired without explanation eight months into the job.

A New York state judge on Wednesday dismissed Aaron Cowen’s lawsuit against Soros Fund Management LLC, saying that he was subject to be “terminated at any time” and that he received compensation he was entitled to under an agreement with the firm.

Cowen had initially sought $19.5 million after his termination in 2011. He later revised his claim to about $3 million, according to the order by State Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich in Manhattan.

Jonathan Sack, a lawyer for Cowen, had no immediate comment on the decision.

Cowen, who joined Soros Fund Management in 2010 after working at SAC Capital Advisors LP, alleged in a complaint filed last year that he was terminated “shockingly” despite “his positive returns, when other Soros portfolio managers were failing.”

Soros, 84, 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 alleged.

Kornreich said that oral discussions alleged by Cowen have “no legal significance.” Cowen was paid vested compensation of more than $900,000 that was provided for under an employment agreement, the judge said.

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

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