End point to a stage. Julian Garcia Woods, chief investment officer (CIO) at Oceanwood Capital Management, is striking out on his own, and the hedge fund he co-managed with founder Christopher Gate is shutting down after a 17-year investing career, Bloomberg reports.
Woods, who has been with Oceanwood since 2007, Oceanwood will return the capital to investors while Gate, 59, will retire, Baker said.
Oceanwood’s hedge fund, which managed more than 2 billion euros in assets at its peak, currently manages a quarter of that figure or just 500 million euros in assets. During the last decade, the British fund has played a leading role in different corporate operations in leading Spanish companies, which it has eventually managed through their respective boards of directors.
The fund recently divested the entire stake that resulted in Unicaja, where it remained after the merger with Liberbank. Oceanwood entered as a leading investor in the Asturian entity since the capital increase that it carried out in 2017 and the bank from Malaga was an active part of its merger.
Part of the capital will be transferred to Woods’ new firm, and Gate will also invest in the startup, according to Baker, who has proposed himself as CEO of CoreLane. Gate did not respond to emails seeking comment on the news that it will end one historic city firm and make way for another.
The new fund will manage a concentrated portfolio of betting on stocks and credits, focusing on investment opportunities in special European situations. CoreLane will build its portfolio around corporate actions such as spin-offs, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, bankruptcies and recapitalizations.
Woods said in an interview that a restructuring of European corporations has long been held back by a lack of confidence among executives, mostly due to macroeconomic concerns such as growth and events such as Brexit.
But since the Covid pandemic, many of those concerns have disappeared and European CEOs feel the time is right to simplify their businesses, selling later or separating parts that are not performing well. “The four biggest spin-offs in Europe have happened in the last few years, and we believe there will be many more to come,” Woods said.
Woods faces a difficult environment raising capital for startups as investors are turning to the larger players, especially those focused on combining multiple business strategies to produce diversified and stable returns.
According to data compiled by Hedge Fund Research Inc, more than 2,500 hedge funds have closed in the last five years, exceeding launches in that period. Founded in 2006 by Gate and an investment team from Tudor Investment Corp, Oceanwood has been one of the largest hedge funds in London focused on corporate capital events.
Specialist in financial ‘shorts’
Garcia-Woods was promoted in 2018 to chief portfolio advisor in a €2 billion hedge fund reorganization that focused on event-driven investing and created a second sector-only fund finance. As part of that reorganization, David Vaamonde was named a partner, due to his “consistently excellent” performance in finance.
Oceanwood has made significant bets since its inception, including NH Hotel Group while under the chin of HNA Group and exiting after Minor’s pre-pandemic takeover bid. He was a prominent investor in Abengoa before the crisis that ended with the Benjumea engineering company in bankruptcy.
He also made his fortune shorting Greek banks during the country’s umpteenth financial crisis in 2015 and made millions on another bearish investment in German payment processor Wirecard AG, which ended up losing almost all of its stock value before it stepped up. a big fraud in the firm. In 2018, the fund reached an agreement to buy the Norwegian paper manufacturer Norke Skog.
At times, the fund has acted as an activist investor in companies ranging from NH Hotel to Merlin Properties Socimi, urging the Socimi’s board to pay an extra dividend after Tree’s sale to BBVA. Oceanwood’s main fund gained about 2% through July this year after losing 8% in 2022.