Barton Biggs, Hedge Fund Pioneer, Dies at Age 79Occasionally, a person of note in the industry passes and colleagues and observers take the occassion to remember his or her accomplishments and career. For Barton Biggs, a hedge fund pioneer who passed at the age of 79, he is remembered professionally for his trading prowess at Morgan Stanley and for starting one of the earliest hedge funds, Fairfield Partners. He foresaw great potential in China and predicted, correctly that the Dot Com Bubble would "come to a very bad end." You can read more about Mr. Bigg's career and life from the Financial Times obituary.
His more than five-decade career in finance began in 1961 with an analyst position at brokerage EF Hutton, where the chairman, Sylvan Coleman, was a close friend of Biggs’ father, a chief investment officer at the Bank of New York.
Biggs went on to co-found one of the earliest hedge funds, Fairfield Partners, in 1965. Eight years later he joined Morgan Stanley, then a relatively small investment bank, to help create and direct its research department.Biggs’ expressive market pronouncements while at Morgan Stanley had, by the 1990s, turned him into one of the most influential investment strategists. In 1993 he declared “I’m tuned in, overfed and maximum bullish” in reference to China, sparking a rally in Hong Kong.
“He was well ahead of his time in terms of his global focus,” said Leon Cooperman, chairman and chief executive of hedge fund Omega Advisors. “He was always provocative, thoughtful, insightful and a total gentleman.”However, Biggs’ prediction that the immense rally in internet stocks would “come to a very bad end” was widely met with criticism from market commentators. Source
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