GLG Partners has closed its emerging markets special situations fund less than a year after the exit of the firm’s EM co-heads.

The strategy was down about 60% in 2012. A spokeswoman for UK-based Man Group, the parent of GLG, confirmed the fund’s closure but declined to provide further information.

The GLG Emerging Markets Special Situations Fund had a focus on illiquid and private equity-style opportunities in emerging markets. Investors are said to have been subject to three-year lock-ups.

Launched in 2007, the strategy was one of four EM-focused funds at GLG once managed by Greg Coffey, viewed as a star trader by some in the industry.   

When he left GLG in 2008 to join Moore Capital, management of the EM funds was handed to London-based Karim Abdel-Motaal and Bart Turtelboom.

The pair served as GLG’s co-head of emerging markets for four years until their exit in January this year. They have set up their own EM-focused hedge fund called APQ Partners, which reportedly started trading in mid-year with money from friends, family and early investors.

The exit of Abdel-Motaal and Turtelboom was part of a wider shift in investment strategy at GLG aimed at combining developed and emerging market strategies.

GLG subsequently hired ex-Pimco portfolio manager Kumaran Damodaran and Brian Pinto, a former World Bank senior macro-economist, to focus on emerging markets.  

Developed and emerging market strategies at GLG are now overseen by Sudi Mariappa and Jamil Baz, who jointly lead a macro and fixed income group created as a result of the reorganisation.

The moves were made in line with GLG’s view that developed and emerging markets are becoming more integrated and that therefore fund management across products should be more co-ordinated.

GLG manages about $24.5 billion through a series of hedge and long-only funds and is part of UK-based Man Group, the managed futures giant with $52 billion in AUM.