The phaseout of Cargill’s Black River Asset Management has been completed with the unveiling Friday of Garda Capital Partners, an independent Minneapolis-based company that will manage about $2 billion.
Garda was formed from a management buyout of Black River’s fixed income hedge-fund business, which caters to institutional investors. Cargill announced in September it would wind down Hopkins-based Black River, spinning out three independent companies to be run by their managers.
Some remaining Black River assets will remain under Cargill’s financial wing, but otherwise the 12-year-old money manager — which had more than $7 billion in assets — is history.
“Cargill has been a terrific owner, investor and employer over the last two decades,” Jeff Drobny, Garda’s managing partner, said in a press statement. “But the time came to transition the business to an owner that will be a more natural parent for the future.”
Garda will run two hedge funds, including Black River’s oldest and largest fund, which focuses on government bonds. Cargill will remain an investor in that larger fund, and Garda said it has retained all of Black River’s former investors. Garda also retained more than 40 Black River employees, including its entire relative value fixed-income investment team.
In addition to its headquarters in downtown’s Wells Fargo Center, Garda has an office in Geneva, Switzerland.
The other companies to emerge from Black River are Minneapolis-based Proterra Investment Partners and New York-based Argentem Creek Partners.
Proterra, which was Black River’s private equity arm, manages $2.1 billion and focuses on food and agriculture-related investments. Argentem manages $500 million and specializes in emerging market debt.
Cargill has retained investments in funds managed by both Proterra and Argentem.
Cargill’s decision to unwind Black River came two months after the money manager announced it would close four hedge funds and pay out investors around $1 billion.
They were among several hedge funds that closed last year due to declining investor demand, particularly for commodity-based funds.
The Garda buyout was led by Drobny and two other former Black River senior executives, Tim Magnusson and Rob Goedken.