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Blackstone to shut mutual fund after Fidelity pulls out

[WASHINGTON] Blackstone Group LP, the asset manager run by Stephen Schwarzman, will shutter a mutual fund that allocates money to hedge fund managers following a large redemption by the vehicle's main backer, Fidelity Investments.

The Blackstone Alternative Multi-Manager Fund will no longer accept new money and will be liquidated by May 31, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The fund's investment adviser will seek to convert all of its holdings to cash and cash equivalents to meet anticipated redemption requests.

Assets in the fund have shrunk to US$629.8 million from US$1.2 billion at the end of February. The decline reflects a large redemption by Fidelity, which had put almost US$1 billion into the fund in 2013, a person familiar with the matter said last month. At the end of last year, a Fidelity unit owned essentially all of the fund's shares on behalf of its clients, according to regulatory filings.

Robert Jordan, a senior managing director in Blackstone's hedge fund solutions group, declined to comment on the liquidation.

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The New York-based firm also disclosed a management change at a separate mutual fund that allocates assets to managers who specialize in global macro, quantitative and opportunistic trading strategies, among others. The investment committee with oversight responsibility for the US$3.9 billion Blackstone Alternative Multi-Strategy Fund will also handle its day-to-day management, according to a separate filing. Mr Jordan is a member of the oversight committee.

In addition, DE Shaw Investment Management, a unit of David Shaw's hedge fund firm, will no longer serve as a sub- adviser to the multimanager fund, according to the latest SEC filing. Blackstone had announced in July that it was adding the DE Shaw unit to the stable of outside managers for both the multimanager and multistrategy funds.

Blackstone's multimanager fund has fallen 4.1 per cent this year after gaining 4 per cent in 2015. The multistrategy fund has declined 2.8 per cent in 2016 after returning 3.6 per cent last year.

The funds employ 18 outside firms as well as Blackstone Senfina Advisors, according to the latest regulatory filings. The managers included Anthony Melchiorre's Chatham Asset Management, Stephen Feinberg's Cerberus Sub Advisory I and Two Sigma Advisers, run by John Overdeck and David Siegel.

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