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The Last of HedgeWorld



Thomson Reuters is putting an end to what until days ago remained of HedgeWorld. Excuse me while I shed an inward tear.

HedgeWorld, founded in 1999, was the first news operation to focus squarely, full time, upon the hedge fund industry. The founders lit this candle soon after the self-destruction of Long-Term Capital Management created a broad public desirous of information on this subject. Better to light that one candle, after all, than to curse the darkness.

I was the first hire of those founders -- they brought me on board in the spring of 2000.

HedgeWorld had a complicated corporate history, but in time it was captured by Reuters, and it was run as a semi-autonomous operation beneath that broad Reuteronian sky.

Then, alas, Reuters merged with Thomson, and the Bigs of the two operations put their pointy heads together and decided where they could make cuts. They closed down HW as a news gathering operation in the fall of 2008. That was the end of my involvement.

TR kept on Chris Clair, though. One of our number, indeed the final managing editor of HW, Clair kept the site going. Why did they want the brand name and a web portal bearing that name, but no news gathering? Well, I suppose it helped direct traffic to other TR territories, and it gave its brand to conferences and events.

But now TR has finally given up the ghost.

The "HedgeWorld" conferences have now been rebranded as "PartnerConnect" conferences.

And Clair has this to say:

 Dear friends of HedgeWorld:

Fifteen years ago, HedgeWorld launched with a mission to provide news, research, data, opinion and analysis for a hedge fund industry that was on the verge of explosive growth. At the time, few other similar ventures existed. With a skeleton staff but a ton of moxie, HedgeWorld set out to cover the world of hedge funds. News reports chronicled the industry's rise from misunderstood niche investment clique to misunderstood $2 trillion market moving force. The business was acquired, expanded, acquired again and downsized.

Today I write to tell you the ride is over. Thomson Reuters has decided to discontinue HedgeWorld as a business unit. The web site will no longer be updated. Yet to be determined is what will become of the Lipper hedge fund database, which traces its roots to the old TASS database. Also unknown as of right now is what happens to the thousands of archived news stories and the subscriber database. The conference business will likely continue - albeit under a different brand - with UCG, the firm that recently purchased HedgeWorld's sister publications: Buyouts, VCJ and peHUB. Keep an eye out for that.

As the last man standing editorially for HedgeWorld, I thank you for reading, e-mailing, contributing, speaking, networking, following, friending and retweeting. It's been a hell of a ride, but eventually all waves must break. Those of you who have known HedgeWorld the longest should remember it in its heyday, as an upstart start-up living billing cycle to billing cycle but shining an unapologetic light into a strange corner of the investment world. It was a business that perfectly embodied the entrepreneurial spirit of the industry it sought to cover.

Too many people to list here made HedgeWorld work. They know who they are, and many of you do, too. How Thomson Reuters ultimately winds up the brand is yet to be seen. In truth I have been told before that HedgeWorld was to close, only to see it continued on a weird life support. This time, though, it really seems to be the end. It is for me, at any rate.

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I can't beat that as a curtain line. 

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