Sunday, May 20, 2018
Business

Jeff Vinik takes stake in Tampa hedge fund service firm eager to woo asset managers here

TAMPA — When former Wall Street investing guru turned Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik talks, people listen. And when he invests in something himself, people pay attention.

Vinik recently took a minority stake in a Tampa business that provides back-office and marketing services to hedge funds. The firm, Oakpoint Advisors, operates out of a small office in the Wells Fargo tower in downtown Tampa. Oakpoint is run by Wall Street veteran Gerry Coughlin, who previously ran Vinik Asset Management in Tampa before Jeff Vinik decided to get out of the hedge fund business.

Having gotten a taste for the Gulf Coast lifestyle, Coughlin, 50, says he decided to build his Oakpoint Advisors business in downtown Tampa. It has grown to ten people in the home office with another four marketing specialists in such key investing towns as Boston, Chicago and the New York metro area.

Rather than return to waiting in the cold to catch the 4:45 a.m. train to Manhattan, Coughlin says he can now leave his Tampa office at 5:55 p.m. and be coaching his daughter's softball team by 6 p.m. That's a way of life that can appeal to many hedge fund managers and workers — once they know about it, Coughlin says.

Many hedge fund operators are leaving the Northeast, often heading to Boca Raton and Miami. Coughlin wants to spread the word that Tampa Bay is a less frenetic, gulf coast gem waiting to be discovered.

Vinik, who once ran one of the nation's major hedge funds, is putting an undisclosed sum into Oakpoint. The firm aims to help hedge funds get off the ground as the $3 trillion industry faces mounting challenges.

Also known as the alternative assets industry, hedge funds are having a "hard go" of things for many reasons, Coughlin says. "What we do is provide options to make it easier."

Oakpoint offers hedge funds or talented investors thinking about starting one with the back-office infrastructure of accountants, compliance officers and trading needs, as well as a marketing team that helps attract capital to the hedge fund clients.

That dual service can save hedge funds money getting started. Oakpoint gets a percentage of the revenue generated on the money it raises, and collects an incremental fee for the other services.

Vinik ran Fidelity's Magellan Fund when it was the world's biggest mutual fund, then opened his own hedge fund. He returned the capital from his Vinik hedge fund, in 2013 turning it into a family office or private wealth management operation after relocating to Tampa and buying the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team.

Vinik has since joined with Bill Gates' Cascade Investment in a major real estate project near Tampa's downtown.

"I see the opportunity to create a hedge fund cluster here," Vinik told Bloomberg News.

Coughlin agrees. "This is what I told Jeff and a reason he bought into the business.

"We can do a better job positioning Tampa as a destination for asset managers."

Contact Robert Trigaux at rtrig[email protected] Follow @venturetampabay.

Comments
Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

One day in April, I returned from a camping trip - a quick 24 out of the city - and ran a load of laundry. What’s more telling is what I didn’t do.I didn’t hose down a muddy tent, I didn’t soak a shoddily cleaned pot, and I categorically did not empt...
Published: 05/19/18
Romano: Save your money, sports betting won’t be in Florida anytime soon

Romano: Save your money, sports betting won’t be in Florida anytime soon

It is the middle of the day and the beginning of the off-season at Tampa Bay Downs. That means the action is limited to simulcast wagering, and that means the televisions outnumber the bettors.The parimutuel industry is long past its heyday in Americ...
Published: 05/19/18
Son of Crabby Bill’s founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

Son of Crabby Bill’s founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

SOUTH PASADENA — Like his father, who founded the Crabby Bill’s seafood restaurant chain, John Loder Sr. had a larger-than-life personality. That was one reason he dived into the real estate business, becoming a well-known, if at times controversial ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/19/18
Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

TAMPA — A decade ago, the Great Recession put Hillsborough and Pinellas counties’ efforts to grow their foreign exports on hold.But since then those efforts have returned, gained support and momentum, expanded the range of their ambition and are now ...
Published: 05/18/18
Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Florida’s economy appears to have plateaued with its unemployment rate holding at 3.9 percent for the seventh straight month, according to the April report released Friday.But some economists say it may be a good thing if the rate doesn’t fall much m...
Published: 05/18/18
Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

TAMPA — A lawsuit over the mix of residences and offices in the planned $350 million Riverwalk Place tower has been dropped.Last August, Riverwalk Tower Investment-Intown LLC, which had been expected to be one of the developers in the project, filed ...
Published: 05/18/18
Orlando’s new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

Orlando’s new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

By MIKE SCHNEIDERORLANDO — The arms race to build new theme park attractions in Orlando is paying dividends. A new report released this week shows theme park attendance at the largest parks in North America last year was up 2.3 percent, powered by ne...
Published: 05/18/18
How Mosaic’s relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

How Mosaic’s relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

Tampa International covets a nonstop flight to São Paulo, Brazil. Mosaic Co, which is moving its headquarters to Hillsborough County, has huge holdings in the country, including several mines. Could Mosaic’s relocation help TIA realize its dream? It ...
Published: 05/18/18
Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

HOLIDAY — A year ago this month, Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts announced plans for its first-ever RV park, near Tarpon Springs where the Anclote River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.The $35 million resort, named after the popular Jamaican marine artist...
Published: 05/18/18
American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

MIAMI — A gigantic $4 billion retail and entertainment complex won government approval Thursday after years of debate, greenlighting what promises to be the largest mall in North America, just a few miles from the environmentally sensitive Everglades...
Published: 05/18/18