Investors in Palisades Equity have had one scary ride this year.
The onetime $75 million hedge fund is down over 20% on the year because of a series of calamitous investments, according to fund documents and interviews with investors. Now some distraught investors are jumping out of the four-year-old fund, which invests mainly in PIPEs, or private investments in public equity.
The managers of the fund, meanwhile, are drawing criticism for some dubious moves, including an aborted attempt to pull some of their own money out of the Palisades fund and an ill-fated attempt to shelter one bad investment in a so-called side-pocket deal.
The decimation of the Palisades fund, which has happened in just a matter of months, is another example of how rapidly fortunes can change in the $1 trillion hedge fund business. The behind-the-scenes maneuvers at Palisades, whose managers have ties to a small Georgia-based investment firm, also offer a peek into the intertwining of the hedge fund business with the brokerage world.
"I am astonished at Palisades," said one investor who has redeemed most all of his investment from the fund. "Throughout this whole thing they were trying to be too cute, and they weren't being straight with investors."
The most recent stumble at Palisades, which invests mainly in small, cash-strapped companies, occurred in June. That's when, sources say, a $12 million investment in OneTravel became of questionable value after the small travel-services company filed for bankruptcy.
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