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March 08, 2017  

Mutual Fund Pro Entering Hedge Fund Arena

An equity portfolio manager who previously ran one of Putnam Investments’ flagship mutual funds has lined up an impressive amount of capital for two hedge funds he has in the works.

Since last year, Nick Thakore has been setting up Diametric Capital. The Boston firm is aiming for late in the second quarter to launch a pair of funds managed by a team of sector heads. Diametric has three portfolio managers on board already and plans to hire two more before going live.

Thakore, whose duties at Putnam included running the $3.2 billion Putnam Voyager Fund, already has commitments totaling $180 million for the planned vehicles, Diametric True Alpha Market Neutral Fund and Diametric True Alpha S&P Fund. Diametric is offering attractive terms to early backers — namely a 1.25% management fee and 15% performance fee, in exchange for an agreement to lock up their capital for three years.

And once the funds reach a combined $1 billion to $1.5 billion of assets, Diametric would eliminate both the management and performance fees for members of the founders share class — charging nothing from that point on. The firm plans to cap the founders class at $250 million.

Diametric also offers a standard class with fees equal to 1.25% of assets and 20% of gains, with no lockup provision.

Diametric True Alpha Market Neutral Fund will seek to deliver returns that are uncorrelated to the stock market. Diametric True Alpha S&P Fund will combine a market-neutral component with long exposure to the S&P 500 Index.

Thakore joined Putnam in 2008 as co-head of the firm’s large-cap equity team, and ran the Voyager Fund until early 2016. During his tenure, the fund generated a cumulative return of 170.8%, versus 158.7% for a large-cap peer group tracked by Lipper.

Thakore previously worked at RiverSource Investments, a unit of Ameriprise Financial, and before that spent nine years at Fidelity Investments.

In addition to Thakore, Diametric’s investment team so far includes:

Sector head George Gianarikas, a technology and media stock specialist who has worked at Alydar Capital, Putnam and Wellington Management.

Sector head Morid Kamshad, a financial stock specialist whose previous employers include Pequot Capital and Omega Advisors.

Sector head Max Greenberg, a REIT-stock portfolio manager whose resume includes Nomura and Gratia Capital.

Also on board is chief operating officer Peter Schaffer, formerly of Avenue Capital and Genesis Capital.