By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Hedge fund Night Square Capital Partners, which traces its roots to legendary stock picker Julian Robertson, is shutting down and its founding partners are joining Citadel, one of the industry's biggest investors.
Neel Parekh and Michael Berkley co-founded the New York-based hedge fund in 2015 and invested roughly $200 million.
Night Square specialized in picking consumer stocks and at the end of last year, its biggest holdings included Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc, Jack in the Box, Inc and Lowe's Companies Inc, according to a recent regulatory filing.
A spokesman for Citadel confirmed the move. Parekh and Berkley were not available for comment.
The pair started notifying clients several days ago of their decision to liquidate their own business and join Citadel's Aptigon Capital unit, a source familiar with the move said. The managers said they were attracted by Citadel's resources and competitive advantage. Citadel invests $26 billion in assets.
Parekh, a trained lawyer, and Berkley previously worked together at Tiger Consumer Management, a consumer oriented hedge fund that was shut down in 2015. Tiger Consumer had received seed money from Robertson, whose Tiger Management was once among the most successful hedge funds.
Night Square returned roughly 4 percent last year compared to the HFRI Asset Weighted Composite Index' 2.86 percent gain.
Parekh and Berkley's move to Citadel follows on the heels of a similar move by tech investor Chris Connor, who shut down Ardmore Global Investors in December to move to Aptigon.
Roughly 782 funds shut their doors in the first three quarters of 2016, as the pace of closures accelerated at a time of increased market turbulence and a tougher environment to raise money.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by David Gregorio)