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Hedge fund Eton Park to close after assets fall

Eton Park Capital Management is closing and returning assets to investors.

The venerable hedge fund firm is ending its 13-year run because “a combination of industry headwinds, a difficult market environment and, importantly, our own disappointing 2016 results have challenged our ability to continue to maintain the scale and scope we believe necessary to pursue our investment program,” said Eric Mindich, founder and CEO, in a client letter Thursday.

Mr. Mindich said he anticipates Eton Park returning 40% of investor capital from the company’s flagship strategy by the end of April and making “substantial progress on the rest of the portfolio in coming months,” in the letter obtained by Pensions & Investments. Certain illiquid investments will take longer to unwind before they can be returned to investors, he said.

Eton Park’s assets have fallen by half to $7 billion as of Feb. 28 from a peak of $14 billion as of June 30, 2011, according to annual survey data collected by P&I from hedge fund managers.

“As responsible stewards of your capital, we have been unwilling to compromise on the business model and investment program in which you invested or the way in which we have pursued it. As a result, we have made the very difficult decision to return your capital, from a position of relative strength,” Mr. Mindich added.

Eton Park spokesman Jonathan Gasthalter declined further comment.