Accused Hedge Fund Manager Found Dead

A Visium PM was found dead Monday following insider trading charges. The $7 billion fund will shut down.

Sanjay Valvani—partner at hedge fund Visium Asset Management—died Monday in an apparent suicide after being charged with insider trading, police said Tuesday.

A knife and suicide note were recovered at the scene in his Brooklyn Heights home, a New York Police Department spokesperson told CIO.  

His attorneys called the death “a horrible tragedy that is difficult to comprehend.” Valvani “was a loving father, husband, son, and brother and committed friend, colleague, and mentor,” they continued. “The charges against him were only unproven accusations and he had always maintained his innocence.” 

Valvani was 44 years old. 

Visium founder Jacob Gottlieb told investors Friday he would wind down the the once-$15 billion New York hedge fund firm. 

An investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly led to $1.5 billion in client redemptions, and ended with charges against three portfolio managers, Valvani included. The portfolio manager had allegedly reaped $32 million by trading on confidential drug approval tips from a former Food and Drug Administration official, who was also charged.  

AllianceBernstein has agreed to purchase Visium’s long/short equity product—the relatively small Global Fund—the buyer announced Friday. The investment team and some support staff members are to join AllianceBernstein as part of the transaction. 

The purchase price has not been disclosed. 

AllianceBernstein CEO Peter Kraus praised the fund’s “strong risk-adjusted performance since its inception in 2007,” and ability to produce “idiosyncratic alpha across market cycles.” 

Visium’s flagship Balanced Fund will be liquidated, according to reports

The New York firm is the largest to be accused of insider trading activity since Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital in 2014. Cohen, like Gottlieb, wound down the operation and returned client capital, then transformed the fund into family office Point72.

Visium did not respond to a request for comment. 

Related: Visium Managers Charged in Major Insider-Trading Case