BlackRock's first-ever hedge fund will be shuttered and the majority of its capital returned to investors by the end of next month, a representative for the asset management firm confirmed on Oct. 24.
Obsidian was launched in July 1996, making it one of BlackRock's longest-standing financial products. The BlackRock representative declined to share the firm's AUM, but some estimates from last year put Obsidian's assets under management at around $1.4 billion.
The decision to shutter Obsidian came after the fund's longtime CIO, managing director Stu Spodek, announced his desire to "step back from day-to-day portfolio management," according to a staff memo written by Rich Kushel, senior managing director and head of the portfolio management group at BlackRock.
Kushel and the firm ultimately decided to wind down Obsidian and return capital to investors, with the opportunity to "re-invest in other BlackRock strategies" and potentially "pivot to the next generation of the Obsidian franchise." According to his memo, Spodek will lead the wind-down efforts, which will return a "majority of the capital to clients at the end of November 2023 with the remainder following as soon as practicable."
After the wind-down of Obsidian is complete, Spodek will remain with BlackRock. His new role has not yet been announced.