Gary Klopfenstein, senior managing director of currency management at Mesirow Financial Holdings, is leaving the Chicago firm and will open his own boutique firm specializing in the management of currency and other alternative investments.
Mr. Klopfenstein, who also serves on Mesirow's board of directors, said in an interview that he had a rewarding career at the firm, but he had decided that he was ready for a new opportunity.
Mr. Klopfenstein joined Mesirow in 2004 after the firm bought his then-$1.5 billion GK Investment Management business. He is credited with building that business at Mesirow to $50 billion.
Mr. Klopfenstein said he will leave in July.
Richard Price, Mesirow CEO and chairman, said in an interview that Mr. Klopfenstein's duties will be split among three senior managers in the portfolio management division: Michael Miranda, senior managing director, portfolio management; Marisa Kurk, senior managing director, operations; and Michael Zehfuss, senior managing director, client management.
Mr. Price said he had full confidence in the team but also said currency management accounts for only about 5% of Mesirow's revenue. While currency management accounts for more than $50 billion in business, he said the actual amount of currency assets under management for Mesirow is significantly smaller, given that institutional currency clients might be hedging only a portion of their portfolio.
He said the firm has around $30 billion in AUM outside of currency management in hedge funds of funds, private equity funds of funds, traditional fixed income and wealth management.
Mr. Klopfenstein said he will operate his firm under its old name, GK Investment Management, and seeks to work with about 10 large, sophisticated institutional clients, building currency and alternative strategies.
He also said he wants to put the emphasis in his new endeavor on global philanthropic work and will judge his success not just on his new firm's financial results but by making the world a better place.