LPs Lining Up for Access to Lonestar Team

Two investment professionals who worked together at San Francisco fund shop Lonestar Capital are starting a hedge fund business in Canada.

Len Kipp and Xavier Majic, both Canadians, are set to open Maple Rock Capital of Toronto, with plans to launch their debut fund on Jan. 1. The vehicle will take long and short positions in both equity and debt, hunting for value opportunities globally. Thatís similar to the work they did at Lonestar, a nearly $1 billion fund operation that has been largely closed to new investments for years.

Indeed, pent-up demand for Lonestar may be why Maple Rock is on track to launch with $400 million. Investors have been quick to embrace the planned fund since marketing began early in the second quarter. Once the vehicle begins trading, Kipp and Majic plan to impose a 30-month moratorium on fund raising.

Majic is a managing director at Lonestar, where heíll continue to work through August. He joined in 2011 from Passport Capital, where he was a portfolio manager specializing in the agriculture, mining and basic-materials sectors. He was more of a generalist at Lonestar, where he worked under founder Jerome Simon, the firmís portfolio manager.

Kipp, a senior analyst at Lonestar, left on March 31 to begin working on Maple Rock. He had joined in 2008 from buyout shop Hellman & Friedman.

Maple Rockís staff also includes Kristy Duchak, who will oversee marketing from her post in San Francisco. Sheís best known in the hedge fund community for leading Goldman Sachsí West Coast capital-introduction team until 2012, when she left to work at San Francisco fund shop Stonerise Capital.

Also on board at Maple Rock is chief financial officer Marcus Spain, who joined last month from Toronto fixed-income manager Marret Asset Management. And analyst Calvin Ngai arrived last month from Crescent Capital, where he was an associate attached to the special-situations group. Heís also worked at TCW and UBS.

Itís likely Maple Rock will hire another analyst and at least one more operations professional prior to the launch.

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