Absolute Capital mismanagement

The words ‘colourful’ and ‘hedge fund manager’ are rarely found in the same sentence. But Florian Homm is one possible exception.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The 6ft 8in German, whose previous claim to fame was getting shot by armed robbers in Caracas last year, has quit as chief investment officer of Absolute Capital Management, an award-winning AIM-listed hedge fund, after falling out with his partners.

And he did so in style, with an open letter to shareholders explaining exactly what he thought of his former colleagues.

In his letter, Homm said he had pledged shares in ACM worth €33m to the underlying funds, to make sure they didn’t lose money, and also donated his bonus to be shared around his firm’s junior fund managers. Unfortunately, his colleagues weren’t keen to follow suit, prompting Homm to declare sniffily that he had ‘a different investment and management philosophy from the current and prior management’.

Since listing last year, the hedge fund has created a number of extra management positions – but Homm seems to think the money would have been better spent elsewhere. ‘The Board of ACMH did not agree with my arguments that ACMH needs to pay adequate compensation to retain top-level fund managers,’ he said today.

Hopefully getting that off his chest made him feel better, because it certainly hasn’t done his finances any good. News of his departure saw the fund’s share price tank 60% this morning – leaving Homm, who founded the firm and remains its largest shareholder, more than £20m out of pocket. That’s an expensive letter…

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