Moore Capital’s co-CIO to retire from hedge fund industry

Greg Coffey, co-chief investment officer of Moore Capital Management’s European business, is leaving the hedge fund industry after a 20-year trading career, according to a letter sent to investors.

Mr. Coffey, who is based in London, will return client capital from his GC Emerging Macro Fund as of Nov. 30, according to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

“The demands of my growing family mean that I am unable to commit to the market with the same intensity going forward,” Mr. Coffey said in the letter. He said he plans to spend more time with his family and in Australia, his home country.

Mr. Coffey, whom billionaire founder Louis Moore Bacon called “one of the most impressive traders in the world” when he hired him four years ago, has had mixed performance since joining Moore. That had fueled speculation among investors that he might leave.

Assets in Mr. Coffey’s macro fund have slumped to about $100 million from as much as $1.6 billion in 2010. The fund had fallen about 10% this year through August before rebounding almost 9% last month, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named because the information is private. The fund lost 5% last year.

“Greg Coffey has been a significant contributor to Moore’s European business, and we are disappointed that he is choosing to retire from the industry,” said Mr. Bacon, who is also co-CIO, in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. “We wish him well in all future endeavors.”

Moore Capital, which manages about $13.5 billion, pulled money from Mr. Coffey’s fund last year and removed hard-to-sell assets that he inherited when he joined the firm, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. The move was a mutual decision between Messrs. Bacon and Coffey to cut the trader’s capital amid markets plagued by the European sovereign debt crisis, the people said.

Mr. Coffey has returned an annualized 4.5% since he joined in November 2008. Emerging markets funds have returned an annualized 7.9% in the same period, according to Hedge Fund Research.

The firm last year renamed Mr. Coffey’s emerging markets macro fund, and two vehicles he started in 2009, to add his initials as part of a rebranding of his products. One fund focuses on emerging markets stocks and lost 16% this year through September, while the other trades emerging markets currencies and fixed-income securities and fell 2.3%, according to investors.

Darren Read, who ran the stock fund with Mr. Coffey, will continue to manage the fund, and investors will have the option to pull their money as of the end of November, one of the people said. Eric Dannheim will continue to oversee the debt fund, from which investors can redeem on a monthly basis.