Monday 9 June 2014

Sorrell (junior) back on the acquisition trail

I see Jonathan Sorrell, the son of WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell, is up to his old tricks again.

Some readers might not recall that Jonathan Sorrell used to work at Goldman Sachs as a corporate financier. In the latter stages of his investment banking career, he was responsible for running Petershill - an investment fund that was set up in 2007 by Goldman Sachs to buy stakes in booming hedge fund management companies.

Now, Petershill seemed like a clever idea at the time and the young Jonathan Sorrell dutifully set about buying shareholdings in several medium-sized hedge funds, including Capula and Trafalgar.    

However, the Petershill strategy headed south following the financial crisis of 2008/2009, with volatile markets hitting performance and some managers, such as Lee Robinson of Trafalgar, quitting the firms altogether for sunnier tax havens elsewhere.

Here are some links to pieces about the fall out from some of the Petershill investments: and

Somewhat (un) surprisingly Jonathan Sorrell left Goldman Sachs in 2011 to join listed hedge fund giant Man Group as head of strategy.

Since then, Jonathan Sorrell has risen to become chief financial officer of Man Group, so I am presuming he was significantly involved in the company's decision (announced this morning) to buy US hedge fund manager Pine Grove Asset Management.

Let's hope Man Group's purchase of Pine Grove turns out to be a better deal than some of those struck by Petershill back in the credit boom of the late noughties.

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