After nearly two decades of publishing research and investing his own capital, short-seller Andrew Left is launching his first hedge fund.
Left, the founder of Citron Research, said by phone Tuesday that he began fundraising for Citron Capital last week. The hedge fund will trade public equities, using short and long strategies, he said.
Reuters first reported the new hedge fund on Tuesday.
Citron Capital is being marketed primarily to family offices, with the aim of attracting no more than $250 million in its first round of fundraising, according to Left. He said he's seeking investor commitments of at least $2 million.
“I’m not in a rush,” Left said. “I’m putting my own money in it. If it takes three months or three years, I won’t mind. It’s a process.”
Citron Capital will charge typical hedge fund fees: a 1.5 percent management fee, plus 20 percent of any profits, according to Left.
His fund will have a 45-day lock-up period.
“I’m not looking to tie anybody up or have some crazy asterisk on the bottom of the paperwork,” he said. “I just want to make money.”
Left said he was concerned about the timing of the fund launch. Market volatility has been creeping higher, with the price of the CBOE Volatility Index doubling this month to more than $24 in early afternoon on October 30. The S&P 500 index is down about nine percent this month through October 29.
“It only takes Andrew Left starting a hedge fund for the market to sell off 10 percent,” Left joked.
As for short positions, Left said he may be interested in betting against certain cannabis stocks over the long term.
The Citron Research founder recently reversed his long-held short position on Tesla and is now long the electric carmaker, according to an October 23 note from the firm. Left had sued Tesla founder and chief executive officer Elon Musk in September, claiming Musk used Twitter to manipulate the company's stock price.
[II Deep Dive: Short Seller Sues Tesla and Elon Musk]
Left said by phone that he changed his position after meeting with a bullish Tesla investor whose thesis made sense to him. He said he ended up cancelling the rest of his meetings that day so he could continue speaking with the Tesla bull.
“I went home and broke the short code of conduct,” said Left on reversing his bet on the company. “I’m sure David Einhorn and Jim Chanos are going to come for me.”