Eric Sprott has triggered shock and animosity amongst investors after shutting down a Flatiron Capital Management fund and and ousting managers of the company's other funds only six months following the money manager's acquisition by Sprott Inc (TSX:SII).
The Globe and Mail reports that Sprott implemented the dramatic changes at Flatiron Capital following its disastrous performance since acquisition in June, with assets under management plunging 45% to $140 million and the Flatiron Strategic Yield Fund shedding a hefty 32% in November alone
Sprott has closed down the Flatiron Market Neutral LP and removed Flatiron portfolio managers Steve Duenkler and Parm Kaliarai from their positions, who will still be retained by the company as advisers.
Investors criticized the changes stridently during a Monday conference call, while executives from Sprott and Front Street, the later of which provided management personnel to Flatiron from its Strategic Yield Fund, sounded cowed and remorseful.
Front Street CEO Gary Selke said that the changes were "a most unfortunate and most undesired situation for everyone" and that "there are no winners here, just people who have suffered."
Selke imputed the steep losses suffered by the funds to imprudent bets on warrants – highly volatiles securities that are essentially futures contracts for company shares.
Sprott completed its acquisition of Flatiron Capital Management Partners at the start of August this year, at which time the money manager had approximately $260 million in assets under management.
Image of Eric Sprott courtesy of EricSprott via Youtube