Activist fund Octavian says it is shutting down

BOSTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Octavian Advisors, a roughly $1 billion hedge fund firm specializing in distressed investments, told investors it plans to liquidate at a time it is nursing double-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." Reuters obtained a copy of the letter.

The fund had lost 11 percent during the first eight months of the year, a person familiar with the numbers, but not authorized to discuss them publicly, said.

"We believe the world is currently presenting fantastic investment opportunities, but it is difficult to take advantage of them in a hedge fund structure with monthly mark-to-market benchmarking and quarterly liquidity," Hurwitz wrote in the letter. He did not return a call seeking comment.

The firm, which received seed capital from Reservoir Capital when it launched in 2006, late last year took on the boards of Canadian water heater rental and submetering company EnerCare Inc. and German medical and electronics manufacturer Balda AG

At the end of the second quarter, Octavian listed Novagold Resources and Newmont Mining Corp. as its biggest positions, both of which are down this year.

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

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