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Jeff Vinik gets back in the money management business

Margie Manning



Jeff Vinik

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is relaunching his money management business, Vinik Asset Management.

Vinik ran the firm from 1996 to 2013. Since then, he’s focused on the Lightning and Strategic Property Partners, a partnership with Cascade Investment that is developing the $3 billion Water Street project in downtown Tampa.

He’s also invested his own money, including in local startups such as Knack, Threshold 360 and Peerfit. He’s funding Embarc Collective, an initiative to elevate the startup community, and is an investor in Dreamit Ventures.

“After six years of running my own money, the fire in my belly still burns,” Vinik said in a news release.

He said he sees opportunity because of changes in investment styles. Passive management, generally an index fund that replicates a benchmark index like the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones with computerized trading strategies, is growing in popularity. It’s a different style than active management, which is overseen by investment professionals who have a hands-on approach and a goal of out-performing the market.

“While markets have become more competitive over time, I believe the broad industry switch from active to passive management is creating excellent opportunities for fundamental stock pickers like me,” Vinik said. “I am confident that the style I have employed for more than three decades —fundamental bottom-up company analysis (growth at a reasonable price) guided by a top-down blueprint of the economy and markets —can achieve strong long-term returns.”

Vinik hopes to raise $3 billion for Vinik Asset Management and launch the firm on March 1, according to MarketWatch.

Vinik will be the sole investment decision maker, with the help of three analysts.

“Now that I have put in place great leadership teams at my Tampa Bay businesses and my Tampa Bay-focused policy initiatives, I have ample amounts of time to serve my clients to the best of my abilities. I can’t wait to get started,” Vinik said.

Mark Hostetter and Gary Coughlin will be co-presidents of Vinik Asset Management; both were previously in leadership roles at the firm. Coughlin is founder and has been the managing partner of Oakpoint Investors, a Tampa company that provides capital raising, sales, marketing and administrative services for hedge funds and other alternative asset management vehicles.

Oakpoint will provide infrastructure support for Vinik Asset Management. Vinik made an equity investment in Oakpoint two years ago.

Vinik, 59, became a well-known name in the investment community when he managed the Fidelity Magellan Fund in the mid-1990s before starting Vinik Asset Management. Vinik Asset Management reportedly generated double-digit returns for investors over 17 years, but Vinik cited poor performance over a 10-month period when he told investors in 2013 that he would close the firm and return their money.



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