Kingsford's Scially, noted short seller, to retire

Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:21pm EST
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By Alistair Barr

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Noted short seller David Scially of Kingsford Capital Management LLC is retiring at the end of this year, after more than a decade running the investment firm with partner Mike Wilkins, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Scially decided to leave to spend more time with his family, after taking a break this summer to consider his plans, one of the sources said.

Scially oversaw a big portion of Kingsford's assets under management, but the firm has had some time to prepare for his departure, the people said. They did not want to be identified because Kingsford, which is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a private investment firm.

A representative at Kingsford declined to comment.

Scially and Wilkins, who are general partners of the firm, comb through the balance sheets and income statements of mainly micro-cap companies looking for symptoms of over-valuation or fraud.

They are held in high esteem by other short sellers, partly because their research effort is focused on so many different short ideas.

"Dave researched a lot of companies thoroughly and carefully and was highly regarded for that reason," said David Rocker, who ran short-selling hedge fund firm Rocker Partners before retiring himself in 2006. "When I was in business we would see each other at conferences and share ideas periodically."

Rocker said David Einhorn, head of hedge fund firm Greenlight Capital, has risen to prominence as a leading short seller in recent years, partly because he speaks publicly about some of his bets against stocks.   Continued...