Park Gets Help from Old Boss at CQS


June 6, 2012

Reprinted from the June 6, 2012 issue of Hedge Fund Alert

Keith Danko, the one-time head of U.S. operations for London hedge fund firm CQS, is backing a planned fund launch by former CQS portfolio manager John Park.

Park, a senior trader at CQS whose specialty was event-driven and risk-arbitrage strategies, has set up JPark Capital of Englewood, N.J., with plans to begin trading his debut vehicle on July 1. Danko is working with Park in an advisory capacity and contributing operating capital, presumably for a cut of the business.

The vehicle will have three components: merger arbitrage, closed-end fund arbitrage and event-driven arbitrage. Park has been managing his own money via those strategies since July 2011, earning about 10% over the past 11 months. While details are still being finalized, Park envisions offering a so-called founders’ share class that would charge discounted fees. Investors would be permitted to withdraw quarterly with notice of 60 days, subject to a 3% penalty for redemptions during the first year.

Danko and Park both joined CQS in 2008. Park left the following year, Danko in 2010. The firm, led by Michael Hintze, currently has $11.5 billion under management.

Before CQS, Park worked at Tribeca Global Management, a once-$2.5 billion multi-strategy operation owned by Citigroup. The bank disbanded the unit in 2007. Park’s resume also includes stints at Sagamore Hill Capital and Sandell Asset Management. After leaving CQS in May 2009, he worked briefly as a proprietary trader at BNP Paribas.

Danko previously served as chief executive and chief investment officer at fund-of-funds manager ACAM Advisors. Before that, he co-founded Minnisink Capital, Tachyon Systems and Witherspoon Investment. Earlier in his career, he worked at Goldman Sachs, where his responsibilities included overseeing international mortgage trading. Danko currently serves as president of Witherspoon, a Princeton, N.J., firm that makes private equity investments.