Duquesne Veteran Gets Big Investors

After Stanley Druckenmiller closed Duquesne Capital in 2010, his investment team scattered. Wojtek Uzdelewicz, who managed a technology fund at Duquesne,  started his own business, Espalier Global.

He started  with a modest asset base in 2011 but attracted some large investors last year and got repeat customers. At least one fund of funds put in additional money after the first allocation. Assets grew to over $500 million, not bad for a new fund these days.

What drew these investors to Espalier? Having a track record at a well-known firm like Mr. Druckenmiller’s Duquesne is always a draw. But there’s more to it than that. The opportunistic equity strategy fit some investors’ needs.

Though he specialized in technology at Duquesne, Mr. Uzdelewicz is investing more widely, though with a tech emphasis. His largest stock positions at the end of 2012 were Facebook, TD AmeriTrade and Yahoo. Non-tech names included AIG and the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain.

Espalier’s redemption provisions are easy on the clients. There is a one-year lock-up for initial investments but withdrawals are allowed with a 2% penalty—this is the “soft” lock-up format that seems to be popular.

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