Wingspan to Shut Down Hedge Fund Following Poor Performance

(Bloomberg) -- Wingspan Investment Management, the $800 million hedge fund firm founded by former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Buckley T. Ratchford, is closing down and returning capital to investors, citing poor performance and market conditions.

Ratchford, the former head of global bank loan trading and distressed investing at Goldman Sachs, told clients Friday in a letter obtained by Bloomberg that he expects to return 80 percent of investors’ money by Jan. 31, and the rest by the end of the second quarter. A spokesman for the firm declined to comment.

“The Master Fund’s more recent investment performance has been challenged and has not met my standards of expectation,” Ratchford said in the letter. “Though recent market conditions have proven quite difficult for our long/short, middle-market focused credit investment strategy, I have the experience to know that tough market stretches are a part of our business and we simply should have navigated these conditions better.”

Ratchford started the fund in 2013. Wingspan, which obtained $250 million in seed capital from Reservoir Capital Group, extended its poor performance after losing about 15 percent last year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The fund, which is based in New York, is suspending investors’ right to redeem their capital as of Friday, according to the letter.