A few months ago, Reuters heard that the famed “481% in one year” trader, Willem van der Vorm, had been fired from his firm, SwissDirekt, for bad returns.During his best year, 2004, Willem earned 481% returns on his desk. But since then, Reuters said, his returns had been much lower. Apparently SwissDirekt, the investment firm that fired him, told Reuters that Willem was fired for a couple reasons:
- Willem breached internal guidelines (exceeding maximum loss per day, holding onto losing positions too long)
- His desk lost 82% in 2008, lost around 9% in the first four months of this year.
Back then, Robert Kuhn, the CEO of SwissDirekt, apparently had this to say about losing Willem:
“Performance, of course, is the trigger.”
“(Van der Vorm) had a trading approach that was against the company’s ideas of how the fund has to be traded.”
“We had strict guidelines and he overruled them three times. It was a lack of discipline.”
We Facebook-ed him, sent him a message to learn more, but all we found out is that he likes FarmVille. We never heard back, until a few days ago.
Van der Vorm told us the Reuters story was totally wrong and asked that we remove our post. He told us he’s started a new fund that’s been up 250% over the last 17 months and offered to send us documents, which are below.
He was clearly upset by both stories, and we were potentially wrong, so we offered link his explanation to the original post.
We spoke on the phone and he explained to us what happened:
He had been running a hedge fund which at first had very high returns, but then, like many, had a bad year in 2008. He wasn’t fired and he’s still a 33% shareholder in the company. He had a discussion with Kuhn, and he resigned from his position as the head of trading at SwissDirekt.
He said one of the main reasons he was down was that SwissDirekt interferred in his positions to hedge.
Soon after we got off the phone, he sent us a Facebook message explaining in his own words what happened:
The Reuters article is incorrect. As a partner and shareholder I felt more and more frustrated by the other partners interference which came to a head on 19th April when I was stopped out of a short Dax position which would have yielded substantial profits.
I decided my position as head of trading was no longer tenable. I have trade other funds of which I have send details which are currently up by 250% over a 17 month period.
As far as farmville is concerned I have 4 children that play and get involved just as any other father would.
Now, he says, he’s still a shareholder in SwissDirekt, but he spends a lot of his time managing money (around £600,000) for one person at a new fund he started on his own called, Vorm Vision. We’ve uploaded the information documents for your perusal.
The chart named “Whichever way the results are presented they are impressive!” (page 3) presents Vorm Vision’s recent returns best.
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