Sunday, May 11, 2008

Nick Maounis

Bloomberg is reporting that Nick Maounis, formerly the boss of Brian Hunter at Amaranth Advisors, is trying to raise money for a new hedge fund.

I'm not sure that they're right. Bloomberg seems to have been reporting this story for a long time. They ran this worried column on the subject sixteen months ago.

Amaranth collapsed in September 2006. As Mr. Maounis explained in a teleconference that month with investors: "We lost a lot of our own money this month. We lost even more of yours."

The reaction of many commentators back in January 2007 to the possibility that Maounis might be trying to start up a new fund was: It's too soon.

Well, this is May 2008. Is it still too soon? If it will always be "too soon," then the problem isn't timing and one shouldn't pretend that it is.

My own view, for what it's worth, is that Maounis seems to have been duped by his employee, Brian Hunter. If that's right, then it is possible nearly two years of reflection has taught him something about, say, the need for rigorous in-house controls. So take another shot, Nick! Best of luck.

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