Martin Whitman’s Third Avenue Management Launches Value-Focused Credit Fund

September 9th, 2009
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Third Avenue Management announced yesterday that it was launching the Third Avenue Focused Credit mutual fund. Third Avenue and its Co-Chief Investment Officer Martin J. Whitman have long been revered as astute value investors, but until now they have not offered a pure credit mutual fund.

Similar to the firm’s other funds, Third Avenue’s Focused Credit fund will employ bottom-up, fundamental analysis. According to fund documents, they believe that “increased inefficiencies in the credit markets provide attractive opportunities for experienced ‘credit Pickers’ like Third Avenue Management to generate meaningful returns.”

The fund will be managed by portfolio manager Jeffrey Gary who joined the firm in 2009. Prior to Third Avenue, Mr. Gary was the head of the high-yield and distressed investment team at BlackRock Financial. While at BlackRock, his group saw its assets rise from approximately $3bn to a high of approximately $17bn.

The new fund will also benefit from two other newcomers to Third Avenue. Earlier this year, senior research analyst Thomas Lapointe joined the firm to cover high-yield investments. Mr. Lapointe has over 17 years of investing experience and was recently the Co-Head of High-Yield Investments at Columbia Management where he oversaw assets of approximately $6 billion. Also new to the team is trader Benny Yau who focuses on distressed opportunities across the capital structure. Prior to joining Third Avenue, Mr. Yau was a High-Yield Credit Trader at Barclays Capital.

Third Avenue Management was founded in 1986 by Martin J. Whitman. Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Whitman was an investment banker and a turnaround specialist for bankrupt companies. In 2002, Affiliated Managers Group purchased a 60% equity interest in the firm. TAM manages the Third Avenue Value family of mutual funds, separate accounts and hedge funds.

Earlier this summer, Whitman protégée Peter Lupoff launched a distressed credit hedge fund. Mr. Lupoff's distressed investing experience dates back to 1990 when he worked for Mr. Whitman. Most recently, Mr. Lupoff was a Managing Director at multi-strategy hedge fund Millennium Management.
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For Detailed Investor Profiles on these Investors, click below:
Millennium Management
Tiburon Capital Management
BlackRock
Third Avenue Management
Related People: Amit Wadhwaney; Charlie Trisiripisal; Curtis Jensen; David M. Barse; David Nolan; Ian Lapey; Ira W. Miller; Israel Izzy Englander; Jakub Rehor; Jeff Gary; Jonathan Larkin; Kenneth Staut; Laurence D. Fink; Martin Whitman; Michael Fineman ; Michael Gelband; Michael Lehmann; Michael Winer; Peter Lupoff; Yang Lie
Related Entities: Affiliated Managers Group ; Barclays Global Investors; Merrill Lynch Investment Managers; PNC Financial Services; State Street Research & Management; Third Avenue Focused Credit; Third Avenue International Value; Third Avenue Real Estate Value Fund; Third Avenue Small-Cap Value Fund; Bank of America; BlackRock Equity Funds; Blackstone Group*; Millennium International Fund; Millennium Management LLC; Millennium Partners; Millennium Partners LP; Millennium U.S.A.; Third Avenue Value Fund; Tiburon Credit Opportunities Offshore Fund, Ltd.
Related Article Tags: Multi-Strategy, Long Short, Equity, Debt and Global Macro Hedge Fund News; Hedge Fund Launches and Hedge Fund Closings


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