Farallon co-managing partner Steyer to retire

Thomas Steyer
Thomas F. Steyer

Thomas F. Steyer will retire at the end of this year as co-managing partner at Farallon Capital Management, the iconic hedge fund manager he founded 27 years ago.

Andrew J.M. Spokes, co-managing member, will become sole managing partner of the firm as of Jan. 1, according to client letters from Messrs. Steyer and Spokes that were obtained by Pensions & Investments.

Mr. Spokes joined Farallon Capital Management in 1997 to open a London office and has overseen recruitment and employee management in the company's international offices since that time. He has been “intimately involved” with Farallon's U.S. value equity team since 2009, Mr. Steyer wrote in his letter.

“As my role has shrunk over time, (Mr. Spokes') role has grown, and rightfully so,” Mr. Steyer's letter said. “The transfer to Andrew has proceeded steadily and deliberately for five years.”

Mr. Steyer said he will not have an official role with Farallon going forward and the firm's partners will buy his share of the business.

Mr. Spokes said in his letter that investors in the firm's hedge funds, which totaled $20 billion as of Sept. 30, “should not expect any dramatic changes in the strategy or operations of the firm.”

“Now it's time to focus full-time on giving back,” Mr. Steyer stated in his letter, noting he intends his life to “revolve around service,” including participation in community banking, promoting an advanced energy economy and involvement in policy initiatives in California.

Messrs. Steyer and Spokes are only speaking to the firm's institutional investors about the succession changes and declined to be interviewed, according to Steven Bruce, a spokesman.

Since inception in 1985, the firm's flagship hedge fund strategy, Farallon Capital Partners, has returned an annualized 13.4% and year to date, 9.5%, both as of Sept. 30.