NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Collins Associates Inc., a hedge fund firm specializing in funds of funds, is shutting down.
"We're going out of business," said Budge Collins, principal and director-client services and marketing.
"We got resignations from all our clients but one." And that client will be leaving soon, he added.
The firm was managing about $700 million to $800 million, all in funds of funds, down from about $1.5 billion last year.
Clients cited turmoil in the firm as their reason for leaving, Mr. Collins said. He said clients didn't mention performance as a reason.
Earlier this year, Collins' sale to EIM Group, also known as European Investment Management, collapsed. Also, at least seven key investment people left the firm.
"We will be closing once all the money is transferred to wherever the clients want," Mr. Collins said.
He noted the firm has a four-year lease on its office, which it will try to renegotiate.
Mr. Collins said his plans and those of the two other top executives -- Michael Earley, chief executive officer, and Richard H. Moskowitz, chief investment officer, both of whom joined the firm only about three months ago -- are indefinite.
"I will definitely start another company," Mr. Collins said. He couldn't say if it would be in the money management field. "This isn't the end for me."
He couldn't say if any of the people at Collins will join him in a new venture.
Mr. Earley and Mr. Moskowitz couldn't be reached for comment.
Mr. Collins said Collins Associates got its first discretionary fund-of-funds client in 1985. By the mid-1990s, it had reached some $1.5 billion in assets, according to its data, where it mostly stayed until about the beginning of this year.
Collins Associates was one of only 20 hedge fund fund of funds that had more than $1 billion in assets, said E. Lee Hennessee, chairwoman of Hennessee Group LLC, New York, a hedge fund consulting firm.
Some Collins clients have transferred assets to Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co., Irvine, Calif., said Jim Berens, principal with Pacific Alternative. That's the firm created by Mr. Berens and three other investment professionals who recently quit Collins. He declined to name the clients transferring to his firm.