Posted by: Ben Steverman on June 30, 2008
By Matthew Goldstein
Former Bear Stearns executive Richard Marin certainly knows a thing or two about hedge fund failures. Marin was the chairman of Bear Stearns Asset Management when the division’s two big hedge funds imploded last summer, an event that led to the recent indictment of former Bear executives Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin. Now he’s returning to Wall Street with a new business venture that’s helping hedge fund managers share information about managing risk.
Marin recently launched Pointwalk Solutions Network, a New York-based company that “creates and manages networks of senior executives in the financial services space.” One of Pointwalk’s first initiatives is a networking group for hedge fund chief operating officers. The new network provides a place for hedge fund managers to share information and compare notes on issues such as “operational risk’’ and asset “valuation.’’ Marin says his clients decide which topics they want to discuss. Although Marin concedes he did learn a thing or two from last year’s hedge fund debacle. “There were a lot of lessons learned and a lot of those lessons are very instructive to a lot of people,’’ Marin says.
To be fair, Marin had no direct role in the day-to-day management of the failed Bear hedge funds. He wasn’t implicated in the June 18 indictment filed against Cioffi and Tannin, who federal prosecutors allege misled investors about the performance and viability of the funds.
But the sudden collapse of the Bear funds did give his Marin his own 15 minutes of fame. He lost his job after The New York Times ran a story about his personal blog, “Whim of Iron.’’ On the blog, Marin offered up movie reviews and other personal observations. The most blog post that caused him the most difficulty with his bosses at Bear was one in which he described the hedge fund ordeal as “trying to defend Sparta against the Persian hordes of Wall Street.’’ Public access to the blog was blocked soon after the story ran. Marin says all he’s trying to do is “get on with my life.’’