Peter Thiel’s Hedge Fund Has Gotten Much Tinier Than You realise


Apparently nearly everyone has pulled their money out of Clarium, Peter Thiel’s one-hit wonder hedge fund.

A former investor tells us there’s only one small lump of investor cash, $130 million, left in Peter Thiel’s Clarium. The rest of the money in the fund, which Bloomberg writes is $680 million, is his own. 

In other words, Clarium is teetering on the edge of not even being considered a hedge fund anymore. Once the lone investor(s) pull their money, Clarium will become a family office.

Even one of Clarium’s portfolio managers (a fellow grand chess master) is leaving to start his own fund.

But at this point, nothing is a surprise with Clarium anymore. Everything that’s happened since 2008, when Clarium made money being long oil, is just the new normal.

Brief refresher: Peter Thiel’s Clarium has been on a sad, downward spiral ever since he peaked in the first half of 2008, when the fund earned investors huge 57.4% returns. It began losing money and bleeding assets almost immediately after. The fund lost a whopping 13 per cent in August 2008 followed by another 18 per cent loss in October 2008, his biggest loss in one quarter.

As Bloomberg noted this morning, 2010 marks his third losing year in a row. And investors have been fleeing since they began. 

By January 2009, AUM had dwindled from a peak of $7.8 billion to $2.5 billion. A year later in July 2009, AUM were down to $1.9 billion. Then the NYPost reported in May that the fund’s AUM were down to $976 million. And in September, they were down to $850 million.

Thiel doesn’t seem too bummed about the losses, understandably, since Facebook has already made him a billionaire. 

The only real shock here is that someone still has $130 million invested. 

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