Third Avenue Says Barse Leaving After Fund Froze Redemptions

  • Money manager says it will be led by management committee
  • Barse, its leader since 1991, saw assets plunge in past year

Third Avenue Management said Chief Executive Officer David M. Barse is leaving, days after he announced that a credit mutual fund would halt redemptions to allow for an orderly liquidation.

Barse and the firm have “mutually agreed” to part ways, effective today, the New York-based money manager said in a statement Monday. Third Avenue will be led by the firm’s management committee, according to the statement.

Third Avenue rattled credit markets after telling investors Dec. 9, in a letter signed by Barse, that its Focused Credit Fund was halting redemptions and would conduct an orderly liquidation of remaining assets. Such measures are rare among mutual funds, which are strictly regulated and required to provide investors with liquidity on a daily basis.

The Focused Credit Fund had $788.5 million in assets at the time the shutdown was announced, down from $3.5 billion in June of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares of money managers -- including Affiliated Managers Group Inc., which owns a portion of Third Avenue -- slid after last week’s announcement.

Barse had overseen Third Avenue since 1991 and often acted as its public face. An attorney by training, he practiced bankruptcy and corporate law prior to entering the fund industry, according to his company biography.

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