(Bloomberg) -- Sof Yiannakas, a former senior analyst at billionaire George Soros’s family office, is setting up his own hedge fund to bet on European stocks.
EOF Partners, a London-based long/short investment firm, plans to start trading in the first quarter of next year, according to an investor document seen by Bloomberg. No fundraising details were disclosed in the document because the project is still in the early stages. Yiannakas declined to comment.
Yiannakas, 32, worked at the $2 billion European long/short fund for Soros Fund Management from 2015 prior to founding EOF in July, according to the document. Before that he was an analyst at Davidson Kempner Capital Management.
EOF’s long bets, or wagers that the value of securities will increase, will be based on Yiannakas’s long-term outlook for companies, according to the document. Short bets on declines in the value of securities will be made using forensic accounting and algorithms to trawl through data on European companies in search of red flags.
Firms such as Carson Block’s Muddy Waters Capital and Glaucus Research Group have made a name for themselves by using forensic accounting to conduct in-depth due diligence and investigative work to identify frauds and candidates for short-selling. The strategy can help a startup stand out in an industry crowded with hundreds of stock hedge funds.
EOF faces a tough capital-raising environment as investors rebel following years of mediocre returns and high fees. They pulled about $64 billion from the industry through August this year, 71% more than during the whole of last year, according to data compiled by eVestment.
Yet some money managers with a proven track record have convinced investors to back their funds. Martin Taylor, who shuttered Nevsky Capital more than three years ago, returned to the industry raised about $1.6 billion, making his Crake Asset Management the biggest hedge fund startup in Europe this year. Other success stories include the $2 billion Woodline Partners launch in August and the $1 billion raised by Cinctive Capital Management last month.
EOF, which stands for Equal Opportunity Fund, has hired Warran Reed as its chief operating officer, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Reed previously worked as an executive of Eton Park International and Highbridge Capital Management, according to his LinkedIn page.
Yiannakas’s firm will donate a portion of its performance fees to charities that support young disadvantaged people, the person said.
(Updates with EOF hire in penultimate paragraph.)
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