A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013.
A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013. Reuters / Carlo Allegri

Hedge fund manager Gabe Plotkin, who boasted one of Wall Street's best investing records, on Wednesday told investors that he is shutting down his firm, Melvin Capital, after it suffered billions of dollars in losses.

"The appropriate next step is to wind down the Funds by fully liquidating the Funds' assets and accounts and returning cash to all investors," Plotkin wrote in a letter reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday.

Melvin Capital had $7.8 billion in assets at the end of April and the fund had lost 23% since January, a person familiar with the fund's finances said.

This year's losses come on the heels of steep losses in 2021 when Melvin Capital ended the year down 39%. The firm bet that shares of GameStop would tumble but was battered when retail investors took the other side and sent the stock surging.

The firm had $12.5 billion in assets at the start of 2021.

In the letter Plotkin said he had already raised a substantial amount of cash and cut the funds' exposure.

A spokesman for Plotkin declined to comment.

At the end of the first quarter Melvin's biggest investments included bets on Live Nation Entertainment, Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Amazon and Datadog. Their stock prices have fallen sharply in the last weeks, sparking speculation that a hedge fund might be trying to unwind positions.

Plotkin was a star investor at Steven A. Cohen's hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors and launched his own firm after SAC pleaded guilty to criminal insider trading charges. Melvin Capital quickly attracted attention and powerful investors and ended 2020, the year the pandemic began, with gains of 52.5%.

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