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Ex-Sprott Portfolio Manager Tardif to Launch New Fund in May

Ex-Sprott Asset Management portfolio manager Jean-François Tardif is coming back from retirement. His new firm is called Timelo Investment Management and is based outside Toronto. “The new firm will run the JFT Strategies Fund, a long/short vehicle expected to look an awful lot like the Sprott Opportunities Hedge Fund he ran until he retired from Sprott in 2009,” writes FINAlternatives. “JFT, in turn, will be offered by First Asset Investment Management, which has hired Tardif to run the strategy. First Asset will offer the fund on the Toronto Stock Exchange in May for C$10 per share.” Reportedly, JFT will be available in two share classes – Class A, which will be listed on the TSE, and Class B, which will be available for fee-based and institutional accounts and are convertible to Class A.

The Sprott Opportunities Hedge Fund opened on April 7, 2004. It uses a long-short equity strategy with a side of capital appreciation and enjoyed a bevy of success under Tardif’s management. In 2007, Jean-François Tardif won HFM’s “Canadian Based Manager Category” and in 2008 the fund was nominated for the “Best Long/Short Hedge Fund Globally”. Barron’s named the fund number 50 out of 75 in a list of “The World’s 75 Best Hedge Funds” in 2008. Tardif has been that Lead Portfolio Manager for the fund before retiring in June 2009. In the five years, Tardif managed the Sprott Opportunities Hedge Fund, it posted an average annual return of 21%. He outperformed the S&P 500 by 23% or better in every year except 2006, when it returned 14.4% and the market returned 16.1%.

Since Tardiff retired from the fund in June 2009, the Sprott Opportunities Hedge Fund has not done better than 4.7% in a month or 7.7% in a year – and the fund has fallen short of the market every year.

Jean-François Tardif also ran the Sprott Opportunities Offshore Fund Ltd., Sprott Opportunities Capital Fund, L.P. and the Sprott Opportunities RSP Fund. The Sprott Opportunities RSP Fund was established in October 2005. Under Tardif, it was able to return 4.9% in 2005, 14.3% in 2006 and 19.1% in 2007. In 2008, Sprott Opportunities RSP Fund returned just 0.1% but the IRG S&P 500 (CAD) lost 22.7%. Since Tardif left the firm, the fund has not returned more than 4.7% in any given month and 7.6% in a year (that year, the IRG S&P 500 (CAD) returned 9.2%).

With numbers like that, Sprott may be missing Jean-François Tardif but if his track record is any indication, his Timelo Investment Management could be a huge success. Plus, given the exact that Tardif was just 40 years old when he retired, there could be a long future ahead for this money manager superstar.