Jan 5, 2015 11:43 AM

Hedge fund founder shot dead in NY apartment; son questioned

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) A 70-year-old hedge fund founder was found shot dead inside his Manhattan apartment, and police were questioning his son, authorities said Monday.

Thomas Gilbert Sr. was shot in the head at his Beekman Place residence on the East Side on Sunday, police said. Police responded to the home after reports of shots fired, and found Gilbert in the bedroom, a handgun near his body.

Gilbert's son, Thomas, was being questioned by police but no charges have been filed, police said. It wasn't clear whether he had an attorney.

In 2011, the elder Gilbert founded Wainscott Capital Partners Fund, which has $200 million in assets. Industry publication Hedge Fund Alert said in an August 2013 article that the fund had a net return of nearly 25 percent in 2012.

He was a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School.

Gilbert Jr. also attended Princeton, graduating in 2009 with a degree in economics. It wasn't immediately clear whether the son worked with the father, but he was not listed on the company's website.

Gilbert Sr. worked on Wall Street for more than 40 years, according to his profile on Wainscott's website, and previously co-founded Syzygy Therapeutics, a biotech asset acquisition fund. He also was founder and CEO of an online teacher-education company called Knowledge Delivery Systems Inc.

Wainscott had no immediate comment Monday. The hedge fund invests in biotechnology and health care stocks, which typically make up about 70 to 80 percent of its investments, according to the firm's website. The fund focuses on stocks traded on large exchanges like the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange, with as many as 70 different investments at one time. The minimum amount for investors is $500,000.

"We're not cowboys," Gilbert said in a November interview with the publication FINalternatives. "People say, 'This guy can be up 40 percent but then he can be down 40 percent.' We would rather be up 20 percent and not have any down months or down years," he said.

Hedge funds are aggressively managed with the goal of producing higher returns than the stock market as a whole. Fund managers use a range of strategies, including some highly risky ones, in pursuit of outsize gains. Wainscott's website claims to offer the potential for returns of 20 to 30 percent. That's well above the 7 percent historical return on stock investments over the last half-century.

The shooting was a rare act of violence on Beekman Place, a wealthy enclave just north of the United Nations in the Sutton Place neighborhood.


Associated Press writer Matthew Perrone contributed to this report from Washington.


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