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Blackstone to back ex-Eton Park partner with $150 million seed

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Blackstone to back ex-Eton Park partner with $150 million seed

BOSTON (Reuters) – Blackstone Group LP is backing a new hedge fund being run by former Eton Park partner Aaron Wertentheil with a $150 million commitment, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: The ticker and trading information for Blackstone Group is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Wertentheil is launching Jones Road Capital Management with roughly $300 million in assets, including the capital from Blackstone, plus money from Eric Mindich, his former boss at Eton Park, and an unidentified endowment, said one of the sources.

New York-based Jones Road will concentrate on special situations investments in the corporate credit, government credit and equities markets, among others, the sources said.

Blackstone has already committed to also putting capital into a second portfolio that Wertentheil expects to raise after finishing fund raising for the first one, signalling the firm’s strong confidence in the manager.

The sources could not speak publicly because the investment is private.

Wertentheil could not be reached for comment.

Blackstone, which invests $78 billion in hedge funds, is making the investment with cash from its $1.5 billion Strategic Alliance Fund III, as it bets that new players can succeed in an industry that has struggled with poor returns and investor withdrawals in recent years. It has so far seeded six managers from this portfolio, including Tresidor Investment Management and Seiga Asset Management.

Blackstone’s seeders traditionally take a 15 to 25 percent cut of the fund’s business, people familiar with the terms have said.

Wertentheil worked for years at Mindich’s multi-strategy fund Eton Park, which made industry history for hedge funds when it raised a record $3 billion in 2004. Wertentheil oversaw more than a billion in assets at Eton Park and stayed on to help close the firm.

Wertentheil started generating buzz soon after Eton Park’s end in 2017 as someone who could start his own firm or join an existing one in a senior role.

James Connolly, who also worked at Eton Park, is a partner and senior managing director at Jones Road. Robert Renda is the firm’s chief financial officer, having previously worked at Folger Hill Asset Management, and Michael Adams is the chief operating officer and general counsel.

Securing seed investments from Blackstone often helps the new managers establish credentials and get up and running while it allows Blackstone to get in on the ground floor with promising newcomers.

Competition for Blackstone’s seed money is always fierce. But some critics note that seeder funds’ records can be uneven no matter how thorough the due diligence.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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Meghan Markle’s estranged half-brother urges the Duchess of Sussex to reunite the family

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Meghan Markle's estranged half-brother urges the Duchess of Sussex to reunite the family

Meghan Markle‘s estranged half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. wants the Duchess of Sussex to help the family make amends, starting with reaching out to the siblings’ father.

In a video obtained by OK! Magazine, Thomas Jr. revealed that Thomas Sr.’s feelings have been crushed by the current state of his relationship with Meghan.

“He’s hurt and very confused about what happened to his relationship with his daughter and I think he’s a little more frustrated now because he’s got a grandchild coming up with his favorite person that he worshipped,” Thomas Jr. explained.

He continued: “They had such a tight bond together and now he’s worried about if he’s ever going to get to see his grandchild. It’s a new addition to the family and now would be a perfect opportunity for the family to get back together.”

MEGHAN MARKLE INVITED TO ESTRANGED HALF-BROTHER’S WEDDING AFTER HE URGED PRINCE HARRY NOT TO MARRY HER

According to Thomas Jr., the rift between the family members started back when Meghan landed the role as Rachel Zane on the TV series, “Suits.”

Meghan Markle's estranged half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., is urging the Duchess of Sussex to reunite the family. 

Meghan Markle’s estranged half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., is urging the Duchess of Sussex to reunite the family. 
(Getty/MEGA Agency)

“A lot of the distance happened between Meghan when she went to Toronto and her first big break in TV which was ‘Suits’ and it turned out to be a big hit in the USA,” he stated, claiming that he believes the 37-year-old former actress “turned into a little Hollywood starlet” who was “focused on her career so much.”

“I get it,” Thomas Jr. noted. “I get being in that world because once you’re down that path you’ll do anything it takes to be successful so that had a lot to do with being distant from her whole family.”

However, at the same time, he added that the way he sees it is if “Meg wants to talk to me I’m sure she can get a hold of me.”

MEGHAN MARKLE’S FAMILY FEUD

Meghan and Thomas Sr. have been at odds ever since he missed her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018, and their relationship grew even more acrimonious after he published a letter from her earlier this month begging him to stop speaking to the media and to stop siding with her half-sister, Samantha Markle, who she accused of selling stories to tabloids.

In the same video interview obtained by OK! Magazine (via the Daily Mail), Thomas Jr. also spoke about Samantha, claiming “she was very jealous of Meghan from the very beginning and still to this very day.”

“‘I wouldn’t believe anything that’s written in there [her tell-all book],” he said, revealing that he hasn’t spoken to Samantha — who he reportedly describes as “negative” and “hard to get along with” — in years.

‘[Thomas Sr.] has even said to me ‘I wish Babe [Samantha’s reported nickname] would shut her mouth already and be quiet,'” he added. “My number one message for Meghan would be to reach out to her father,” he added. “It would mean the world to him to be back in her life and be part of his grandchild’s life.”

As for what Meghan was like growing up? Thomas Jr. called her a “happy kid” who was “always smiling.”

“We would have a little Christmas at our house and then go to [Meghan’s mother] Doria’s mom’s house — they had the really tight environment and it was really nice being there,” he recalled. “She was really into Disney movies, like ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Aladdin.’ There was nothing tomboy about her — she was all princess. We would take our dog for a walk and take lunch and play with the dog.”

Fox News’ Jessica Sager contributed to this report. 

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Khloe Kardashian responds to Tristan Thompson’s alleged infidelity

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Khloe Kardashian responds to Tristan Thompson’s alleged infidelity

Khloe Kardashian appeared to be letting emojis do the talking amid reports that Tristan Thompson – her NBA player boyfriend and the father of her child – was unfaithful to her.

After Hollywood Unlocked, an entertainment news website, posted an Instagram video Tuesday about the alleged cheating with Jordyn Woods, who is best friend’s with Kylie Jenner, Kardashian sounded off with a series of talking head emojis in the comment section.

“#PressPlay One of our contributors was at #TristanThompson’s house party and saw what went down! @kyliejenner we need you to address some thangs with @jordynwoods,” the post said. “Anyhow, #JordynWoods stayed at his house until approximately 7am. Who needs to go?! Comment below!”

KIM KARDASHIAN RISKS NIP-SLIP IN REVEALING VINTAGE THIERRY MUGLER GOWN

The organization, apparently noticing Kardashian’s comment, took a screenshot and posted it to their Instagram.

Larsa Pippen and Malika Haqq – both of whom are pals to the star  – also reacted to the post, writing “Amen!!!!” and “STRONG FACTS,” respectively, US Weekly reported.

Kardashian and Thompson are no longer together following the alleged infidelity, according to E! News.

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Representatives for the pair did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

The reality star gave birth to the pair’s daughter, True, in April last year as reports emerged that accused Thompson of cheating on Kardashian in the days before she went into labor.

Fox News’ Julius Young and Katherine Lam contributed to this report.

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Cook County state’s attorney recuses herself from Jussie Smollett case

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Cook County state's attorney recuses herself from Jussie Smollett case

The Cook County state’s attorney has recused herself from the investigation surrounding Jussie Smollett, as Chicago police continue to dig into the alleged hate crime attack the actor claims occurred last month.

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself on Tuesday, but it was not immediately clear why. First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats will take over the case as acting state’s attorney, Fox News has learned.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT’S LAWYERS DENY HE PLANNED ATTACK AFTER CHICAGO POLICE CLAIM HE’S NO LONGER CONSIDERED A VICTIM IN CASE

Foxx’s recusal came as the Chicago Police Department rejected a tip the bureau received earlier Tuesday regarding the “Empire” actor’s case.

Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the department, tweeted that the tip alleging that Smollett was spotted in an elevator in his building with two men who were initially considered suspects was “unfounded as it was not supported by video evidence obtained by detectives.”

Smollett, who is openly gay and black, reported that on Jan. 29, he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway restaurant. He claimed that the men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at him, poured a chemical substance on him, threw a rope around his neck and shouted, “This is MAGA country!”

CORY BOOKER ‘WITHHOLDING’ JUDGMENT ON SMOLLETT CASE AFTER CALLING IT ‘ATTEMPTED MODERN-DAY LYNCHING’

Investigators revealed on Friday that two suspects were questioned in connection with the alleged attack, but were released without charges “due to new evidence.”

Chicago police said on Saturday that Smollett was no longer considered a victim in their investigation.

Smollett’s attorneys, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, vehemently denied that the attack was a hoax, previously telling the press: “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with.”

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“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack,” the statement continued. “Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”

Separately, court documents recently obtained by Fox News reveal that Smollett was convicted for DUI and providing a police officer with false information. It was not immediately clear what information he lied to police about, but it’s related to a vehicular charge. Smollett’s legal team did not deny the arrest.

Fox News’ Mike Tobin and Matt Finn contributed to this report.

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