Executives Abandon Och-Ziff Following $13 Billion In Withdrawals And An 80% Share Price Decline

Tyler Durden's picture

What is that saying about rats and sinking ships, we forget?  Irrespective, a trio of senior executives from Och-Ziff decided they've had enough fun after their fund lost $13 billion to withdrawals over the past 13 months and their stock tanked roughly 80%.

According to Bloomberg, among those departing are Drew Gillanders, a top European equity analyst; James Keith “JK” Brown, a partner and head of investor relations; and Paula Drake, chief compliance officer.

Gillanders, who’s based in London, helped manage Och-Ziff’s successful bet on drugmaker Actelion Ltd., which soared when Johnson & Johnson agreed to buy it in January, the people said. Och-Ziff had built a stake worth about 767 million Swiss francs ($761 million), according to a filing on Dec. 24. Gillanders, who used to work for billionaire Steven Cohen when his firm was called SAC Capital Advisors, didn’t respond to repeated calls and emails seeking comment.


Brown, a member of the partner management committee, joined in 2003 from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to Och-Ziff’s website. He is staying through June then leaving to pursue other interests, one of the people said. Two other partners, Lee Minton and Nathan Urquhart, are replacing him as co-heads of investor relations, the person said. Brown didn’t return an email and a phone call seeking comment.


Drake, who joined Och-Ziff in 2015, previously worked for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Drake is leaving to return to Boston, where she lives, one of the people said. The firm hired Robert Mendelson, a long-time partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, to replace her. Mendelson didn’t return a message left on his voicemail at Och-Ziff.

Among other problems, Och-Ziff has recently suffered the devastating consequences of a multi-year criminal investigation that ultimately resulted in them pleading guilty to more than $100 million in bribes paid in shady deals across Africa and $415 million in fines and penalties.  Per Bloomberg:

Those actions are part of a multiyear bribery conspiracy across Africa that benefited Och’s firm, Och-Ziff Capital Management LP, U.S. authorities said Thursday. The prosecution included regulatory sanctions against Och and another executive, a guilty plea by an Och-Ziff unit and $415 million in fines and penalties. It also broke new ground: Och-Ziff became the first hedge fund to be criminally sanctioned by the U.S. in an emerging-economy bribery scheme.


In court filings in federal and administrative courts Thursday, the government outlined more than $100 million in bribes as well as the questionable takeover of a Congo mining company and “suspicious payments” in Zimbabwe. Though the Securities and Exchange Commission said Och didn’t know about the bribes, the firm acknowledged it failed to accurately reflect how assets were used and didn’t have adequate internal controls.


"Och-Ziff, one of the largest hedge funds, positioned itself to profit from the corruption that is sadly endemic in certain parts of Africa, including Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad and Niger," U.S. Attorney Robert Capers in Brooklyn, New York, said in a statement. "Despite knowing that bribes were being paid to senior government officials, Och-Ziff repeatedly funded corrupt transactions."

Of course, the company has attempted to retain talent through massive equity grants, including the recent grant of $280mm worth of stock to a 34 year old trader, Jimmy Levin, but with losses like this it doesn't take a massively overpaid hedge fund guru to figure out the present value of those equity grants once they vest (hint: $0 discounted 5 years equals $0 no matter the discount rate).

Och Ziff

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buzzsaw99's picture

Gillanders, who’s based in London, helped manage Och-Ziff’s successful bet on drugmaker Actelion Ltd., which soared when Johnson & Johnson agreed to buy it in January...

bet my ass. insider info more likely. it smells especially bad with SAC on his resume.

Raffie's picture

So the sheeple are buying the dip?

Blazing in BC's picture

Maybe, maybe not, but they are gonna take it balls deep.

Jubal Early's picture

(((Och)))-(((Ziff))) turns out to be another talmudic ponzi scheme.  What is fascinating is how their centuries old and draconian "don't snitch" routine leaves their own tribe just as vulnerable as the stupid goys they target.

2rigged2fail's picture

OT - NIST employee questioning 911?  I'm sure MSM will cover tihs /sarc


Logan 5's picture
Logan 5 (not verified) Mar 15, 2017 7:57 PM

The best NIGERIAN PRINCE e-mail scam in the galaxy



peippe's picture

'my mother said, to get things done, you better not mess with Major Tunde'

my apologies to David Bowie, where ever you are tonight...

Uncle Sugar's picture

Looks like one of Ackman's gems

Ms No's picture

Congo mines?  I am sure that is wholesome as a dove.  These people are like blood money warlocks who have absolutely no problem with acute human suffering.  There is nothing they wont do for a few bucks.  I hope the Africans eat those bastards one day.


SimmerDown's picture

Always nice to see "top analyst" and 80% loss just a few words apart.

Arrest Hillary's picture

Do not have a "boating accident" on the Congo river .... it's very deep ?

Sledge-hammer's picture
Sledge-hammer (not verified) Mar 15, 2017 11:03 PM

(((Och-Ziff)))?.  A reference to billionaire trader (((Steve Cohen))) who pled guilty to insider trading and paid a $1.8 billion fine and did no jail time.  Some guy named (((Mendelson))) and another named (((Levin))) involved in this story.  Och-Ziff charged and fined for corruption.  Is there any kind of common connection here?  Time to call in Lt. Colombo.

mkhs's picture

Or maybe Francis Sawyer?

HRH Feant's picture
HRH Feant (not verified) Mar 15, 2017 11:09 PM

I didn't realize you could do business in Africa without bribes. Who knew?

mkhs's picture

Actually, you can, but not very well.

Magooo's picture

Och Ziff ... does that mean Fuck Shit in Hebrew?  Or maybe Scratch my Balls?  Or perhap Fuck You.  


Can someone translate it --- its sounds like something you should not say in polite company

Magooo's picture

Formula for successful hedge fund manager - be willing to bribe people for insider info.   Whatever it takes. 


Fucking morons are basically just corrupt cocksuckers who beat the market through corruption --- then buy their way out or leave it to one of their flunkies (as did Cohen) to take the fall for them when they get caught red handed.


Imagine you are coming out of college ---  nobody is hiring in the finance industry --- you do ANYTHING to get that job ---  a guy like Steve says --- bribe this guy -- but if you get caught you never got this from me ---  if you don't get caught you get a really sweet bonus at the end of the year.


A lot of people take that job.  A fucking lot....


And meanwhile Steve the fucking pig fucker shuffles off to the latest charity gala -- and hobnobbs with other cocksuckers --- in spite of being one of the biggest criminals in New York.  


You gotta wonder why fucked up people open fire in theatres and shopping malls.  

Magooo's picture

I see Steve Cohen is active on ZH red arrowing me down.  Fuck you Steve you rat bastard

Magooo's picture

Credibility?   Are you serious?


Have you not noticed that this site is filled witih racist comments about Jews, Arabs and Blacks?  


Zero Hedge comments section is a fucking cesspool ....   take a look around you buddy ... it is where the lowest of low congregate to spew hatred and racism


And you are upset because I said 'fuck' 



Magooo's picture

Is that you Steve?  Do you take exception with being called a cocksucker?    Is that your line in the sand?

whatisthat's picture

I would observe another corrupt financial scam ends in defeat and failure.