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Buddy Fletcher

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Buddy Fletcher
BornAlphonse Fletcher Jr.
(1965-12-19) 19 December 1965 (age 52)
New London, Connecticut, United States
ResidenceThe Dakota
New York City
Other namesBuddy
EducationHarvard College
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
OccupationFounder, Chairman, and CEO of Fletcher Asset Management
Founder of the Fletcher Foundation
EmployerBear Stearns (1987–??)
Kidder Peabody (19??–91)
Fletcher Asset Management (1991–present)
Known forHedge fund management, fund bankruptcy, Kidder Peabody discrimination lawsuit, Dakota discrimination lawsuit, Philanthropy
Spouse(s)Ellen Pao (2007–present)
RelativesGeoffrey S. Fletcher (brother)

Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher Jr. (born December 19, 1965) is an American former hedge fund manager and founder of the Fletcher Foundation. He began his career as a quantitative equity trader at Bear Stearns and later worked at Kidder, Peabody & Co. Fletcher, who is African American, sued Kidder Peabody for racial discrimination. Although his racial discrimination claims were dismissed, he eventually won an arbitration award of US$1.26 million.[1] Fletcher has also been involved in litigation centered on a dispute with the board of The Dakota apartment building in New York City.

Fletcher founded Fletcher Asset Management in 1991. His main fund, Fletcher International, may have been insolvent since 2008 and was declared bankrupt in 2012.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Fletcher was raised in Waterford, Connecticut.[3] His father, Alphonse, Sr., was a technician at the Electric Boat Corporation in Groton,[4] a company that makes submarines. His mother, Bettye, a long-time teacher and later a social worker, dean, and school principal, received a Ph.D. in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.[3][4] Fletcher has two younger brothers, Todd, and Geoffrey,[5] a screenwriter, film director and Academy Award winner.

He attended Harvard College, where he received an A.B. degree as an applied mathematics major in 1987.[6] He was elected first marshall of the 1987 class.[7] He earned a Master's degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 2004.[8]


After graduating from Harvard College in 1987, Fletcher began his career at Bear Stearns as a quantitative equity trader who capitalized on dividend-related arbitrage.[9] He was recruited to Kidder Peabody as a trader in the equity trading group.[6][7]

Fletcher Asset Management[edit]

After his tenure at Kidder Peabody, he founded Fletcher Asset Management,[6][7] which makes private investments in small-capitalization public companies.

During Fletcher Asset Management's first four years, it traded with heavy leverage.[10] His general strategy was trading public instruments for his own account and on behalf of clients, but he also made longer-term equity investments. He used hedges with both types of investments.[11] He has also been involved in PIPE deals.[12] At one time, his firm's trading activity occasionally accounted for 5% of the volume on the New York Stock Exchange.[13] In 1994, Fletcher surrendered his broker-dealer registration and became a registered investment adviser, which made managing money more convenient.[9]

Fund bankruptcy[edit]

In July 2011, FIA Leveraged Fund, an investment vehicle managed by Fletcher Asset Management, was unable to meet a redemption request, totaling $144 million, by three Louisiana pension fund investors.[14][15] In April 2012, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands ruled that the fund was insolvent and ordered that it be wound up (liquidated).[16][17]

In June 2012, Fletcher International Ltd., the Bermuda-based "master fund" for the Fletcher funds, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Manhattan.[2][18]


Alphonse Fletcher vs. Kidder Peabody[edit]

In 1991, after working as an equity trader at Kidder Peabody, Fletcher filed a lawsuit in New York state court for employment racial discrimination.[19] The New York Court of Appeals ruled that Fletcher's claim must be arbitrated.[20] In a NYSE arbitration, Fletcher was awarded $1.26 million, and in a subsequent arbitration, the racial discrimination claim was dismissed.[13][21]

Dakota lawsuit[edit]

In February 2011, Fletcher filed a lawsuit against the Board of Directors of The Dakota co-op building in Manhattan, where he had lived since 1992 and owned four apartments.[1] Among other things, he alleged defamation and unlawful discrimination.[22] In March 2010, Fletcher had signed a contract to purchase a fifth apartment at The Dakota, intending to combine it with his current home. The Dakota's board said that it rejected Fletcher's application based on the financial materials he provided in his application.[5][23] Judge Eileen A. Rakower granted The Dakota's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the suit in September 2015. Fletcher announced his intention to appeal.[24]

Fletcher Foundation and philanthropy[edit]

In 1993, following the death of friend and advisor Reginald Lewis, Fletcher donated $1 million to the Reginald F. Lewis Memorial Endowment. The endowment had been created by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People after Lewis instructed his wife to bequeath $2 million to the organization.[25]

In 1996, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), Fletcher endowed a University professorship at Harvard College.[3][6]

In 2004, Fletcher created the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor Fellowship program to financially support professors working to improve race relations at Harvard.[3][26] Funded as part of the Fletcher Foundation, Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard.[27][28]

Personal life[edit]

In 2007, Fletcher married Ellen Pao, then a junior partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Fletcher and Pao met while Aspen Institute fellows.[1][5][29] They have a daughter together.[5] Prior to his marriage to Pao, Fletcher was in a relationship with Hobart V. "Bo" Fowlkes Jr. for more than 10 years.[30][31]

Fletcher and his wife have lived in the St. Regis Residence in San Francisco.[31][32] Fletcher also owns homes in The Dakota in New York City.[31][33]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bradley, Richard (March 2012). "Is Harvard's Buddy Fletcher a Financial Genius- or a Fake?". Boston Magazine. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b Pension Funds Sue on a Deal Gone Cold February 24, 2014 Deal B%k by Rachel Abrams New York Times
  3. ^ a b c d Rimer, Sara (2004-05-18). "$50 Million Gift Aims to Further Legacy of Brown Case". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  4. ^ a b Martin, Amy (2005-04-25). "Community philanthropist, Waterford native Buddy Fletcher May 5". Connecticut College. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  5. ^ a b c d Haughney, Christine & Peter Lattman (2011-02-26). "The Man at the Center of a Dispute at the Dakota". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
  6. ^ a b c d "University Professorship Named for Fletcher: Honors graduate of Harvard Class of 1987". Harvard University Gazette. President and Fellows of Harvard College. 1996-04-25. Archived from the original on September 3, 2006. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  7. ^ a b c "Professorship Challenge Fund set into motion: Harvard donors aim to increase faculty resources across University". Harvard University Gazette. President and Fellows of Harvard College. 2006-02-16. Archived from the original on 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  8. ^ Dipnarine, Danny; James Kocienski & Apollo Marmarinos. "Alphonse Fletcher Jr". Michael Hover. Archived from the original on 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  9. ^ a b "To Be Young, Gifted, and Sitting Pretty". BusinessWeek. The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. 1994-10-24. Archived from the original on 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  10. ^ Schwager, Jack D. (2003), Stock Market Wizards, Harper Collins
  11. ^ Heller, Zoe (1996-04-29). "The Buddy System". The New Yorker. CondéNet. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
  12. ^ Atlas, Riva D. (2004-06-05). "When Private Mixes With Public; A Financing Technique Grows More Popular and Also Raises Concerns". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
  13. ^ a b Birger, Jon. "40 Under 40 > 1998 > Alphonse Fletcher Jr". Crain's New York Business. Crain Communications. Archived from the original on 2008-10-04. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  14. ^ Lattman, Peter (12 July 2011). "SEC and Pension Systems to Examine Fletcher Fund". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  15. ^ Barbanel, Josh (20 December 2011). "Louisiana Pension Sets Plan for Fletcher Fund Loss". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  16. ^ Eder, Steve (19 April 2012). "Judge Orders Liquidation of a Fletcher Hedge Fund". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  17. ^ Thompson, Richard (April 20, 2012). "Liquidation ordered for hedge fund that 3 local pension funds invested in". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  18. ^ Eder, Steve (4 July 2012). "Hedge Fund Files for Bankruptcy". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  19. ^ "Alphonse Fletcher Jr., Appellant, v. Kidder, Peabody & Company, Inc., Respondent. / Rita Reid, Appellant, V Goldman, Sachs & Co. Et Al., Respondent". Cornell University Law School. 1993-07-09. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
  20. ^ Brant, Martha & Jolie Solomon (1993-07-19). "Taking On The Great White Way: Wall Street: Will Recent Discrimination Suits Open The Door For Women And Minority Executives?". Newsweek. Newsweek, Inc. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  21. ^ Bradley, Richard (February 2012). "Buddy Fletcher: Financial Genius — or a Fake?". Boston Magazine. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  22. ^ Haughney, Christine & Peter Lattman (2011-02-28). "Dakota Co-op Board Is Accused of Bias". The New York Times.
  23. ^ Lattman, Peter Lattman (2011-02-02). "The Money Manager Who Is Suing the Dakota". The New York Times.
  24. ^ James C. McKinley Jr. (2015-09-15). "Suit Accusing Dakota Co-op Board of Bias Against Blacks and Hispanics Fails". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  25. ^ Teltsch, Kathleen (1993-09-26). "Gifts Help N.A.A.C.P. Focus on Economic Agenda". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  26. ^ "Alphonse Fletcher announces 2006 Fletcher Fellows". Jet. CNET Networks, Inc. 2006-06-05. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  27. ^ "Gates Named Univ. Professor". Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  28. ^ "Buddy Fletcher: Financial Genius — or a Fake?". Boston Magazine. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  29. ^ "Aspen Institute Names Emerging Leaders As 2007 Henry Crown Fellows". The Aspen Institute. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
  30. ^ Rimer, Sara (2004-05-18). "$50 Million Gift Aims to Further Legacy of Brown Case". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2013-04-29.
  31. ^ a b c "The Unraveling of Ellen Pao and Her Husband, Buddy Fletcher". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  32. ^ "San Francisco real estate news, data and statistics, home sales and real estate listings - San Francisco". Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  33. ^