Siguler Guff sues former funds executive

The fund of funds alleges Maria Boyazny stole 'commercially sensitive' data before leaving to start MB Global Partners, a charge Boyazny has denied. The lawsuit has since been withdrawn.

A battle is brewing between Siguler Guff and the former head of its distressed fund of funds operations, Maria Boyazny, over allegations that she stole vital client information from the firm before leaving to start her own shop in October.

Siguler Guff recently withdrew the lawsuit, stating: “any disagreements have been resolved to the parties' mutual satisfaction. Siguler Guff is confident its confidential information is secure and has agreed Boyazny may use 'track record' information regarding its distressed opportunities funds”.

Boyazny denies the allegations and will fight the charges, according to a statement from Katten Muchin Rosenman, the law firm representing her.

The fund of funds is suing Boyazny, a former portfolio manager of distressed funds, for allegedly filching “commercially sensitive” information about clients, track records and analyses. Siguler Guff alleges Boyazny committed some of the thefts by entering the offices after work hours and weekends, and “surreptitiously” copying data onto a portable hard drive. The visits were recorded by security cameras, the firm said.

Siguler Guff recently withdrew the lawsuit, stating: “any disagreements have been resolved to the parties' mutual satisfaction. Siguler Guff is confident its confidential information is secure and has agreed Boyazny may use 'track record' information regarding its distressed opportunities funds”.

Boyazny denies the allegations and will fight the charges, according to a statement from Katten Muchin Rosenman, the law firm representing her.

“The allegations … are without foundation or merit,” the statement said. “Throughout her career at Siguler Guff, Ms. Boyazny maintained an impeccable track record as a portfolio manager of the [distressed opportunities] funds. During her time with the firm, she was instrumental in delivering top-performing funds to investors and growing assets for funds under her management.”

Maria
Boyazny

Siguler Guff claims Boyazny allegedly took a detailed list of Siguler Guff’s client universe, the firm said, marketing meeting logs with potential clients, client presentations and a database of performance, cash flow and portfolio composition of the firm’s fund of funds covering Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Siguler Guff also claims Boyazny lied to potential limited partners while trying to secure commitments for the fourth distressed fund of funds that she was staying with the firm when she was already planning to leave the firm. Siguler Guff’s fourth Distressed Opportunities Fund had collected about $329 million as of August, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

“During the months preceding her departure, Boyazny contrived to steal [Siguler Guff’s] most valuable and commercially sensitive information – including, among other things, information concerning … investors, and the funds’ positions, credit analysis, track records and trades – and transfer it wholesale to her new venture,” Siguler Guff said in the lawsuit, which was filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Boyazny launched MB Global Partners in October in partnership with G2 Investment Group. Boyazny’s firm planned to focus on credit and distressed opportunities created by the global financial crisis, and hoped to raise a debut fund in the first quarter of 2011, she told PEO at the time.

During her time at Siguler Guff, Boyazny managed $4.5 billion in assets across Distressed Opportunities funds I, II, III and IV. She joined the fund of funds in 1997.