Activist investor Koffey leaves hedge fund Senator to start own firm

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Quentin Koffey has left Senator Investment Group, where he spearheaded the firm's activism strategy for two years, and plans to launch his own firm in the future, Senator and Koffey said on Thursday.

"Quentin's constructive approach to activism yielded exceptional results for Senator and we look forward to investing in his next venture," Senator's co-founder and managing partner Doug Silverman told Reuters in a statement.

At Senator, Koffey was best known for having teamed up with Cannae Holdings to bid for property data and analytics company CoreLogic last year.

While their offer for $66 a share was rejected, Senator earned a strong return on its investment as other bidders emerged and the company later sold itself to private equity firms Stone Point Capital LLC and Insight Partners for $80 a share.

Koffey arrived at Senator only a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the U.S. economy and before the firm's two founders in February 2020 told investors that they were splitting up. Alexander Klabin left and Silverman stayed at the firm, which now manages $6.8 billion and has specialized in so-called event-driven investing like mergers.

In an industry dominated by managers pushing for fast-paced changes through brash letters and fast-talking television appearances, Koffey often preferred to stay out of the limelight, projecting a calm but firm negotiating style, bankers who know him said.

Koffey, in a statement, called Senator an "excellent firm" and said he appreciated "the support and confidence" it showed him.

His path into activist investing was cemented at Elliott Management, one of the industry's busiest and biggest activists, where he was a portfolio manager and worked from 2010 to 2017. He moved to hedge fund D.E. Shaw in 2017 and led a number of public activist campaigns, including at Lowe's Companies and grain trader Bunge Ltd. He joined Senator in 2019. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)