AN Australian who gave up a bonus of up to $330million has hired his own public relations team as his decision causes a sensation in London.
Greg Coffey, 36, knocked back the bonus when he quit London-based hedge fund GLG Partners this week to set up his own business.
Reached at his office yesterday, Mr Coffey said he was too busy managing his massive funds to discuss his pending move.
"I'm running a really large portfolio and I'm always trying to act in the best interests of my investors," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"I can't really spend time on this sort of stuff ... I'm going to give you someone who is representing me."
With billions of dollars resting on his every decision, who could blame him.
Mr Coffey runs emerging market funds worth $7.3 billion for GLG.
The success of the funds has earned him an exceptional reputation and salary to match.
For his efforts he earns a salary up to a startling $158 million a year, making him one of the most highly paid workers in world finance.
But in deciding to go out on his own, he had to forfeit $330million in shares he had earned as bonuses, the Evening Standard reported.
The married father of two, who lives in a $12million home in Chelsea, sent financial circles into a spin with the announcement.
One afternoon newspaper carried a front page headline about the "hunk" who had given up a guaranteed fortune.
Attention was drawn to Mr Coffey's good looks, thick shoulder-length hair and preference for wearing casual clothes such as jeans instead of suits.
However the graduate from Sydney's Macquarie University did his best to avoid the spotlight, directing enquiries to financial communications company Tulchan.
"I'd really prefer no stories to be written," he said.
Spokesman Andrew Honnor said Mr Coffey was a "very, very low key individual".
"He's hired us to represent him so we are his PR advisers," Mr Honnor confirmed. "He's not doing interviews I'm afraid. It's not appropriate, he's still contracted with GLG."
Mr Coffey's earnings brought in as much as 60 per cent of his company's total performance fees last year. One of his main funds was up almost 51 per cent last year and 60 per cent the year before, making him one of the two most successful hedge fund managers internationally, it was reported.
Mr Coffey is expected to take a large portion of his clients with him when he leaves in October in a major blow for the New York-listed GLG.
Shares in the company dived on speculation about the move last week.
- The Daily Telegraph