Aubrey McClendon is back in the hedge fund game, but this time he's taking a far more indirect approach.
McClendon, the ousted founder of Chesapeake Energy, has led a group of Oklahoma City-area investors in putting money with Caption Partners, a small fund run by two young managers, according to people familiar with the situation.
In 2012, Reuters reported that McClendon, now head of American Energy Partners, had from 2004 to 2008 run a $200 million hedge fund inside of Chesapeake, the second-largest natural-gas producer in the U.S. The outfit, Heritage Management, traded commodities, leading to criticisms of the potential for conflicts of interest between company operations and investments made by the fund.
McClendon was never accused of wrongdoing, but that and other corporate governance issues contributed to his removal as chairman and ultimate departure in April 2013. The Securities and Exchange Commission initially probed McClendon but ultimately took no action.
Caption, led by 2007 Duke University graduates Jason Strasser and William Cooper, does not bet on commodity markets and instead trades equity options—mostly technology and consumer companies—in an attempt to profit from volatility, according to people with knowledge of the strategy. It's known as a "Vol Arb" fund in hedge fund industry lingo.