Ex-Viking CIO Daniel Sundheim Plans to Start Equity Hedge Fund

  • Potential investors said to reach out, expressing interest
  • Sundheim will initially manage his own money in family office

Daniel Sundheim, the former chief investment officer at Viking Global Investors, is planning to start an equity hedge fund in the second half of 2018, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Sundheim will manage his own money in a family office until the fund launches, said the person who asked not to be identified since the matter is not public. Potential investors have reached out to the manager, expressing interest in a fund, the person said. Sundheim, who left Viking last week, will soon begin building his team.

Daniel Sundheim

Source: Patrick McMullan

A representative for Sundheim declined to comment.

Sundheim’s exit from Viking comes as the firm plans to return $8 billion to investors. He joined the hedge fund in 2002 as an analyst and became sole CIO in 2014. He left to “pursue entrepreneurial interests” after Viking couldn’t find a role that would give him the flexible investment mandate he sought, the firm told clients in a letter. Sundheim helped with the transition of his successors.

Sundheim is among high-profile managers planning a new fund. Michael Gelband, Millennium Management’s former bond chief, and Chris LaSusa, a former Point72 Asset Management portfolio manager, are also launching hedge funds. Citadel’s former equity head, Brandon Haley, attracted $1.5 billion when he started Holocene Advisors in April -- a sizable sum in the current challenging fundraising environment. 

‘Larger Launches’

“Were he to launch his own fund business, then considering the profile and pedigree, it’s easy to see this scale to become one of the industry’s larger launches,” Barsam Lakani, head of prime brokerage sales at Jefferies, said of Sundheim. “It would attract significant investor interest.”

Founded by Andreas Halvorsen, the $30 billion Viking in Greenwich, Connecticut, is one of the largest hedge funds in the world. Halvorsen said Sundheim was “in a league of his own as a stock picker and portfolio manager” and that he looks forward to “possible collaboration,” according to the letter.

Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine included Sundheim on its annual “Rich List” for 2016, saying he earned $280 million in 2015 and $275 million the year before.

An avid art collector, Sundheim is a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. In recent years, he’s been upgrading his collection. In 2015, he executed a complex trade with Sotheby’s, enabling him to acquire “Untitled (New York City),” a painting by Cy Twombly that sold for $70.5 million. A few months later, he paid about $35 million for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Dustheads” in a private transaction. In June, his Richard Prince painting with an asking price of $8 million sold at Art Basel.

— With assistance by Zeke Faux

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