Whitney Tilson, the hedge fund manager who was trashed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) last December despite being one of her biggest fans, announced on Thursday that he was shutting down his firm due to poor performance, according to a Bloomberg report.
Investors in the fund, Kase Capital Management, were alerted by Tilson in a Thursday email that he was returning their money after he had lost confidence in his own ability to turn around the fund’s performance.
“Reporting sustained underperformance to you was making me miserable,” Tilson wrote. “I couldn’t in good conscience continue to manage your money unless I had a high degree of confidence that I could turn things around within a reasonable time frame.”
The fund was down 8 percent this year, and its assets had shrunk from its peak of $180 million in 2010 to just $50 million, according to the report.
Tilson made the news late last year when he was targeted by Warren in a Facebook rant in which she labeled him a “hedge fund billionaire” who was “thrilled by Donald Trump’s economic team of Wall Street insiders.”
“If Trump gets his way, the next four years are going to be a bonanza for the Whitney Tilsons of the world—at the expense and pain of everyone else,” Warren wrote.
Tilson was an odd target for Warren, given that he had years earlier given $2,500 to her Senate campaign and also contributed $2,700 to Hillary Clinton and $22,300 to the DNC during the 2016 effort to defeat President Donald Trump. He had even given $1,000 to attend a speech Warren delivered at a Clinton fundraiser.
Tilson told the New York Times shortly after he was targeted by Warren that he agreed with Warren’s positions on the need for financial regulation “100 percent” and also that he was not a billionaire.
“I’ve donated money to her, attended her events, and did everything in my power to stop Donald Trump,” Tilson said. “In addition, I agree with her 100 percent that large swaths of the financial industry have run amok and prey on vulnerable Americans, and thus strong regulation, including a muscular Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is sorely needed.”
Tilson also wrote to Warren following the post. He received word from a Warren aide that she had decided to keep the post up, but would edit “billionaire” from the post.
“She asked me to relay to you that she is removing the word ‘billionaire’ from the post, as you have indicated that is factually inaccurate,” an aide emailed Tilson. “The senator has decided, however, not to remove the overall post.”
Warren apologized a few days later, saying she “took it too far” and wished her “tone had been less heated.” She also deleted the post.
Tilson has continued to donate to Democrats in 2017 despite his underperforming fund, according to Center for Responsive Politics records.
He wrote in his email to supporters that he has no plans to manage other people’s money in the future and is instead “considering serving on corporate boards, consulting, and mentoring young investors,” according to the report.