February 12, 2016 / 11:32 PM / 2 years ago

EXCLUSIVE-Hedge fund Valiant ready to take in some new cash

BOSTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Valiant Capital Partners, a hedge fund with ties to renowned investor Julian Robertson that has been closed to new investments since 2012, is raising fresh capital, a person familiar with the firm's plans said.

The San Francisco-based firm, which has bet heavily on technology stocks including Apple, Facebook and Amazon, wants to keep its assets near $2.5 billion but has told clients that it also wants to raise enough new capital to offset redemptions, the person said.

The fund did not respond to several requests for comment.

By opening the door to new money, if only a crack, Valiant joins a small number of funds that are now quietly offering existing customers and newcomers a chance to get in at a time funds are bracing for what some investors have called an expected increase in redemptions. Many hedge funds have fared poorly this year as the market has tumbled.

Other managers are asking for new money in order to buy more stock at cheaper prices now that many names have been beaten down.

Valiant, which has been in business since 2008, has roughly $2.3 billion in assets and has long told clients that its wants to stay relatively small, in order to stay nimble. Smaller funds have become more popular with bigger investors recently.

During the fourth quarter, Valiant trimmed its bets on the year's high flying technology stocks before they were sold off dramatically in the early weeks of 2016.

According to its latest 13-F regulatory filing, the firm in the fourth quarter cut its stake in Amazon by 18 percent to own 168,800 shares, trimmed its Apple holdings by 10 percent to own 1 million shares and reduced its investment in Facebook by 17 percent to 853,023 shares.

The fund returned 4.9 percent in 2015, performing far better than the average hedge fund which lost 1 percent. In 2015 many bigger and more prominent funds nursed double digit losses. Since launching, Valiant has had only one down year when it posted a 12.8 percent loss in 2013.

Valiant is run by Chris Hansen who previously worked for Robertson protege John Griffin's Blue Ridge Capital.

The fund, which has made a fair number of investments abroad, recently told clients that it has closed a small position betting against Japanese rates.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Tom Brown

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