Thames River Sold for Only [Pounds Sterling]34m as Money Flows Out

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon English

THAMES River Capital, a Mayfair hedge fund run by a man who described himself as "the most overpaid nanny in the world", was today sold for a knockdown price.

During the boom years the fund, based just off Berkeley Square at the centre of London's swinging hedge-fund scene, was poised for a flotation that would have valued the business at up to [pounds sterling]500 million.

Today it was sold to F&C Asset Management for just [pounds sterling]33.6 million, with another [pounds sterling]20 million to follow depending on performance.

Analysts said the deal is an indicator of how a once-booming London industry has been affected by the economic downturn.

Thames River is run by Charlie Porter, who set it up in 1998. With co-founder Jonathan Hughes-Morgan, chief operating officer Jeremy Charles and 16 others, he shared a [pounds sterling]67 million payout from the company in 2009.

Many of Thames's funds struggled last year. Thames boasts of assets of [pounds sterling]9 billion on its website, where it claims to "aspire to excellence", but today they are valued at just [pounds sterling]4.2 billion.

Before today's deal, Thames was 59% owned by Pacific Investments, a vehicle controlled by Sir John Beckwith, the property entrepreneur who is the uncle of socialite Tamara. …