American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

Amaranth founder teams up with “King Chung”

Posted by Josh Friedlander | 2 Comments

Say you’re Amaranth’s founder and you’ve presided over one of the largest blowups in the history of the hedge fund industry. You decide to launch a new firm. Knowing that you’ve endured enough bad press to last a lifetime, you’d probably shy away from any kind of headline risk, right?

You’d probably avoid hiring a guy who lost his job after writing one of the funniest emails to come out of Wall Street since Eliot Spitzer gave us the missives of Henry “I can’t believe what a POS that thing is” Blodget.*

But, then, we can’t all have the courage of our convictions. Amaranth founder Nick Maounis’ new firm, Verition Fund Management, expects to begin investing for friends and family by yearend and has hired Peter Chung, who comes on board from Highland Capital Management, to run a credit book.

We at American Madness sincerely toast Nick Maounis. We hear that Chung is a nice guy and good at his job. But we really really have to high five Nick for hiring Chung considering that he’s King Chung! You remember King Chung, don’t you?

CHUNG is KING of his domain here in Seoul

It is he, Chung, who was a new hire at the Carlyle group in Seoul in 2001 when he penned this fateful email to friends:

I’ve got a spanking brand new 2000 sq. foot 3 bedroom apt. with a 200 sq. foot terrace running the entire length of my apartment with a view overlooking Korea’s main river and nightline. Why do I need 3 bedrooms? Good question, the main bedroom is for my queen size bed, where CHUNG is going to fuck every hot chick in Korea over the next 2 years (5 down, 1,000,000,000 left to go) the second bedroom is for my harem of chickies, and the third bedroom is for all of you fuckers when you come out to visit my ass in Korea.

We hear that Chung got a really raw deal. The infamous email was sent to 11 of his buddies from Merrill Lynch, and I’m told that, upon landing new jobs, it was once something of a ritual to send a hyperbolic email to former ML colleagues bragging about one’s situation, so that we should see Chung’s email in that light.

Regardless, the message made its way around the world, ended up in the hands of Carlyle executives and according to the New York Times Chung was “was given the option of resigning or being dismissed, a Carlyle executive said.”

Now, I’m told, Chung is a family man and has made great strides. This one youthful indiscretion certainly shouldn’t color his entire career, but it’s curious that he and Maounis would want to team up considering the inevitable effect such a combination is going to have in bringing both stories (Amaranth’s blowup / Chung’s email) back into the limelight. That’s why I say: good for Nick. He obviously hired Chung for his professional excellence regardless of the headline exposure.

* (This is a comparison in term’s of the email’s humorousness, not a comparison on substance. Blodget’s emails showed a serious conflict of interest. Chung’s email was simply funny and not indicative of any professional issue.) Also, now that I think about it, Chung may have preceded those emails.


2 Responses to “Amaranth founder teams up with “King Chung””

  1. Peter Chung
    May 26th, 2009 @

    Josh – thanks so much for your support, dude! I’m totally going to share my hot harem of chickies with you and after you’re satisfied, I’ll quietly blow you to sleep each night in one of my three bedrooms.

  2. Josh Friedlander
    May 26th, 2009 @

    Hey ‘Chung,’ I thought Citigroup was keeping a lid on the online browsing.

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