12/14/2011

‘Help Wanted’ at Tortus Capital Post-Launch

Tortus Capital is adding staff following the launch of its debut fund in October.

The New York firm, led by former Fir Tree Partners executive David Salanic, installed Eric Liu last month as head trader. In the next six months, Tortus plans to fill four more positions: compliance officer, controller and director of marketing, as well as another analyst post.

Tortus Capital Fund launched Oct. 19 with about $50 million. In addition to Salanic, the day-one staff included chief financial officer Richard Wandner, who previously spent 12 years at Viking Global; analyst Eric Bodnar, formerly of Silver Point Capital; and analyst Micael Calatrava, who previously worked at Aerium Capital. Liu last was a trader at Traxis Partners.

Tortus takes an opportunistic approach to investing in performing and nonperforming credit instruments globally, including corporate bonds and sovereign debt. The fund typically holds 10-20 long positions and 20-30 shorts for periods ranging from three months to five years.

Tortus offers two share classes. Limited partners who agree to a two-year lockup are charged discounted fees of 1.5% of assets and 15% of gains, versus the standard 2-and-20 fee structure for investors willing to accept only a one-year lockup.

Salanic, the fund’s portfolio manager, worked at the $7 billion Fir Tree from 2007 until this year. His focus was on sovereign debt and distressed activist plays, among other types of investments.

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