Novogratz Takes Sole Control of Fortress Macro Fund After Losses

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Michael Novogratz will become the sole manager of Fortress Investment Group LLC’s macro hedge fund after the strategy lost money since the end of 2013.

The macro fund, which makes bets on currencies, commodities, stocks and bonds, currently has six people managing money, including Novogratz and Jeff Feig, who joined Fortress a year ago as co-manager, said a person with knowledge of the matter. Feig and most of the other managers are expected to leave the firm, said the person, who asked not to be named because the fund is private.

Fortress’s macro fund lost 1.6 percent last year as rivals made money. It dropped 7.1 percent in the first five months of this year, hurt in part by the Swiss National Bank’s surprise move in January to remove the cap on its currency. While the fund reported losses of more than 7.9 percent in the first half of January, Novogratz’s portion of the portfolio didn’t lose money in that trade, said people familiar with the firm.

Gordon Runte, a spokesman for New York-based Fortress, declined to comment. Reuters first reported Feig’s departure.

Fortress managed $2.8 billion in the macro fund and separate accounts as of the end of March, down from $3.5 billion a year earlier.

The firm hired Feig last year from Citigroup Inc., where he was global head of foreign exchange. Feig didn’t return a message seeking comment.

Fortress, founded in 1998, became the first private equity and hedge fund manager to sell shares to the public when it held an IPO in February 2007. Its shares have since declined more than 60 percent. The company reported a 43 percent decline in first-quarter profit as management fees from its hedge funds declined and it sold fewer holdings.

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