Robert Lacoursiere, the Paulson & Co. partner who oversaw the $23 billion hedge fund’s team of banking analysts, quit last week after four years to start his own fund, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Mr. Lacoursiere plans to start an equity hedge fund within six months that will focus on global financial companies, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
Mr. Lacoursiere didn’t make portfolio or investment decisions at Paulson, according to another person familiar with the firm, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.
Paulson, founded by billionaire John Paulson, suffered record losses last year as his bet on a U.S. economic recovery went awry. The hedge fund last quarter sold entire stakes in Citigroup and Bank of America, among its largest financial holdings, after the lenders’ performance helped drag down returns in 2011.
Paulson lost 51% last year in one of its largest funds. The firm told clients in a year-end letter last month that Bank of America was “the biggest disappointment” in the fund’s bank holdings.
Paulson’s Advantage Plus Fund, which seeks to profit from corporate events such as takeovers and bankruptcies and uses leverage to amplify returns, gained 3.5% in the first two months of 2012, according to a client update, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.