Activist fund Octavian says it is shutting down

BOSTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Octavian Advisors, a roughly $1billion hedge fund firm specializing in distressed investments,told investors it plans to liquidate at a time it is nursingdouble-digit losses.

The New York-based firm, founded and run by Richard Hurwitz,told investors by letter that he plans to liquidate the funds,which have suffered "unsatisfactory performance." Reutersobtained a copy of the letter.

The fund had lost 11 percent during the first eight monthsof the year, a person familiar with the numbers, but notauthorized to discuss them publicly, said.

"We believe the world is currently presenting fantasticinvestment opportunities, but it is difficult to take advantageof them in a hedge fund structure with monthly mark-to-marketbenchmarking and quarterly liquidity," Hurwitz wrote in theletter. He did not return a call seeking comment.

The firm, which received seed capital from Reservoir Capitalwhen it launched in 2006, late last year took on the boards ofCanadian water heater rental and submetering company EnerCareInc. and German medical and electronics manufacturerBalda AG

At the end of the second quarter, Octavian listed NovagoldResources and Newmont Mining Corp. as itsbiggest positions, both of which are down this year.

(Reporting By Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

((svea.herbst@thomsonreuters.com)(+617 856 4331))