United Capital's Devaney Halts Redemptions on Funds
By Jody Shenn and Jenny Strasburg
July 2 (Bloomberg) -- United Capital Markets Holdings Inc., a brokerage run by John Devaney, halted redemptions on some of its hedge funds that invest in subprime-mortgage bonds.
The funds are within the company's Horizon Strategy group, including the Horizon ABS Fund LP, said Michael Gregory, a spokesman for the Key Biscayne, Florida-based firm.
"We did that as a defensive move because we had an unusually high number of redemption requests and we didn't want to be a forced seller in this market,'' Gregory said in a telephone interview. One of the redemption requests was from an investor who had put up about 25 percent of the funds' money.
The decision by Devaney, 37, follows the collapse of two hedge funds run by Bear Stearns Cos., which also lost money amid a plunge in bonds backed by subprime mortgages. As the Bear Stearns funds faltered, prices of the securities tumbled on concern the bonds would be dumped on the market at fire sale prices. Owners of similar securities may face $90 billion in losses, Deutsche Bank AG analysts predicted June 29.
"People are very nervous about how deep the revaluations of these securities will have to go,'' said Virginia Parker, who helps advise about $1.8 billion in client money at Parker Global Strategies LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. "These positions didn't get marked down until June. Nobody's hand was forced in the market until then.''
Don't they know they are only supposed to reprint the press releases from the companies and to not ask questions?
And what about that investor "who had put up about 25% of the funds' money?" What is he or she thinking right about now?