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Son charged with killing NYC money manager

Thomas Gilbert Sr.
Source: NBC News

The son of Thomas Gilbert Sr. is accused of killing the 70-year-old New York hedge fund manager in a dispute over his allowance, police said.

Thomas Gilbert Jr., 30, was arrested Monday on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon, police told The Associated Press.

The elder Gilbert was a pedigreed Wall Street veteran who spent years as a private equity investor, the CEO of an online teacher education company and, most recently, a hedge fund manager.

The son, who graduated Princeton in 2011 but had no recent work experience, was in debt and had argued with his father over his allowance, police said.

He had gone to his parents apartment on Sunday and asked his mother to go out for some food, police said. When she returned, "she found Senior on the floor with a bullet hole in the head," Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told the AP. "She also found a gun resting on his chest with his left hand covering it."

But Boyce said the son made it seem his father had committed suicide.

Hedge fund manager's son a suspect: Sources

At the son's West Side apartment, investigators found magazines, bullets and a shell that matched the gun found at the scene, police told the AP.

The law office representing Gilbert Jr. had no comment, AP reported.

The father's latest venture, Wainscott Capital Partners, was founded in 2011 to focus on investing in the stocks of biotechnology and health-care companies.

Wainscott—which shares the name of the area in the Hamptons where Gilbert had owned a home—is small by industry standards. The firm managed about $10 million as of September, according to marketing materials for a hedge fund conference. A person familiar with the fund confirmed that assets were likely about the same today, far less than the $200 million that has been widely reported.

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Regardless of the hedge fund's size, Gilbert was excited about his new act.

"The long-term future for healthcare investing continues to be bright, and we are seeing more asset allocators approaching us to participate in an actively managed healthcare fund with risk minimization. We believe that Wainscott offers that vehicle," Gilbert wrote in a November email.

The fund produced strong returns in its first few years of existence, according to materials posted on the firm's website. It also was up more than 10 percent in 2014 through October, according to an email sent to clients and prospects.

Wainscott Capital Partners Fund home page
Source: Wainscott Capital Partners Fund

The elder Gilbert was remembered as a good person and a savvy investor.

"He was very smart and knew his space well," said Jaeson Dubrovay, a hedge fund consultant who had strategized with Gilbert on helping Wainscott attract capital.

That sentiment was echoed by others who came in contact with Gilbert.

"Tom impressed me as being very intelligent, thoughtful, and nonaggressive. This last trait is rare in the hedge fund world," said Don Sussis, a former hedge fund marketing and communications executive who said he knew Gilbert for about 15 years.

The two met when Gilbert asked Sussis to look at a project to revitalize the way history was taught by using multimedia.

"Losing Tom now is shocking and takes away a good man who tried to conduct himself and his business with high standards—including a concern for others," Sussis said.

Gilbert Sr. enjoyed an elite education, graduating from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, Princeton University and Harvard Business School.

Reached at Wainscott Capital's New York City office, Clay LeConey, the fund's vice president for sales and marketing, said, "We're not issuing a statement" at this point on the death of the fund's founder, but that business operations at Wainscott are "on hold" for the moment.

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—The Associated Press and CNBC's Kate Kelly contributed to this story.