The private capital team head at Duke University’s $28.6 billion endowment is considering leaving to start his own hedge fund, three sources have confirmed.
Mark Corigliano, who has been at DUMAC for over eight years, is marketing a deck to potential limited partners for a long/short energy fund called Stealth Capital.
The fund would invest in listed stocks, MLPs, and “anything energy-related,” according to one source who has seen the document. Private investments will also be included in the portfolio, the three sources said.
The decision to raise capital comes at a challenging period in the market, as investors are slowing their once-frenzied pace of committing capital. At the same time, however, there has been an uptick in desire for both energy and hedge fund investments.
“He’s trying to get interest,” the source said. “He’ll have a tough time in endowments and foundations. He’ll have to go to family offices to raise capital.”
According to two of the sources, Corigliano is still determining whether he’ll depart from DUMAC. The decision hinges on whether he can line up investors for the new fund. Corigliano did not respond to emails and a LinkedIn message seeking comment on his plans.
Predicting whether he will be able to raise capital isn’t easy. As the first source noted, the environment for raising a first-time fund is “hard.” But Corigliano isn’t a rookie.
“He was a hedge fund manager before DUMAC,” the second source said. “He’s going back to his roots.”
Corigliano, along with other partners, previously ran a firm called Belltower Advisors from 2009 through 2012, investing in energy, metals, industrials, and related commodity stocks. According to a form 990, Howard Hughes Medical Institute was among the firm’s investors.
The fund shuttered in 2012 when “one large client… decided to reallocate,” Corigliano told North Carolina’s Triangle Business Journal that year.
Prior to founding Belltower, Corigliano served for four years as a portfolio manager for Proxima Alfa Investments, a joint venture between Vega Asset Management and BBVA of Madrid, Spain. There, according to his LinkedIn profile, he managed a long/short portfolio of natural resource equities. Before his stint in hedge funds, Corigliano spent four years as an analyst for DUMAC.
Despite Corigliano’s pedigree, the energy market is a complicated one for investors, especially those at DUMAC’s endowment and foundation peers. “Endowments don’t want to do oil and gas,” the first source said. “I think he’s going to have opportunities, though.”
As the second source noted, allocators have been changing their tune on fossil fuels lately, given energy’s rebound amid the broader market’s rout. They pointed out that one prominent endowment that announced plans to divest from fossil fuels has not only reversed course but is “so aggressive” now that it’s pushing others out of deals.