Kopernik Global Investors receives debt and investment from Jeffrey Vinik

By Marc Castro

Oct 10, 2013 09:18 AM EDT

Jeffrey Vinik had previously shut down his hedge fund early this year as returns slumped. Now, he is providing start up capital worth USD20 million for an investment firm led by his former colleague, David Iben.

Vinik had agreed to provide five year USD5 million loan to Kopernik Global Investors, Iben's Tampa, FL based investment firm. He also invested USD15 million in two of the private funds managed by the firm. These transactions were reported in regulatory documentation filed last September. Vinik would retain the money in the said funds until July 2015, according to the documents filed with authorities.

The two have a long history, with Vinik recruiting Iben from Tradewinds, a unit of Nuveen Investments Inc last June 2012. Iben was hired as the stock picker for the firm headed by Vinik, which eventually shuttered as Vinik focused on his ownership of the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning through his holdings firm Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment. 

Nearly half of the staff of Kopernik came from the closed Vinik Asset Management LP. This was confirmed by Kopernik Global Investors portfolio manager Paul Brodskey. He said, "We think when we can launch that we will get some of the following that David has had over his 32 year career.

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