Charles de Vaulx, chairman and chief investment officer of International Value Advisers allegedly, took his own life in NYC on Monday
de Vaulx, 59, jumped to his death from 10th floor of Manhattan skyscraper office after his assets firm was liquidated when it shrank disastrously and investors ‘lost trust in him’
de Vaulx had founded the company 14 years ago and built it up to be worth more than $20 billion in assets at its peak, before it was ultimately liquidated, IVA had $863 million in total net assets at the end of 2020
The company confirmed his death on its website and but the cause of his death was revealed by the research firm Morningstar
Source close to the late financier said, ‘This is a Shakespearean tragedy on a lot of levels … ironically many of the stocks [de Valux] owned have appreciated significantly in the past few months’
A Manhattan financer jumped to his death from a skyscraper yards from Trump Tower just weeks after his assets firm that was once worth $20 billion was liquidated.
Charles de Vaulx, 59, was the chairman and chief investment officer of International Value Advisers when he allegedly took his own life on Monday at the company’s offices at at 717 Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. Initially, the NYPD only stated that a man had died in an apparent suicide but declined to identify him.
The company confirmed the married father-of-two’s death on its website and but the cause of his death was revealed by the research firm Morningstar. That publication reported the award-winning portfolio manager had apparently taken his own life.
The prominent investor’s apparent suicide after his financial empire collapsed is being mourned as a Wall Street tragedy.
Shortly before 1 p.m. Monday, Charles de Vaulx reportedly entered the posh Midtown tower that had long housed the offices of International Value Advisers, an investment firm founded 14 years ago, according to police.
Minutes later, de Vaulx — who built IVA into a financial powerhouse with $20 billion in assets at its peak before it abruptly liquidated last month, plummeted from the 10th floor to the street belowhis death.
Responders at the scene pronounced him dead at 1:05 p.m.
Police are investigating the death of the 59-year-old, Moroccan-born financier, but no foul play is suspected, and de Vaulx had not been accused of any wrongdoing.
De Vaulx’s death came seven weeks after the firm abruptly announced it would liquidate its funds and halt business. It said that it had completed the liquidation on April 19.
‘It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our Chairman and CIO, Charles de Vaulx,’ the website reads.
‘The entire IVA community convey their deepest sympathy to his family at this difficult time.’
De Vaulx had founded the company 14 years ago and built it up to be worth more than $20 billion in assets at its peak, before it was ultimately liquidated, IVA had $863 million in total net assets at the end of 2020.
A source close to the late financier said ‘This is a Shakespearean tragedy on a lot of levels … ironically many of the stocks [de Valux] owned have appreciated significantly in the past few months,’ the source said.
The source described the late financier as a ‘complex man with a lot of hubris.’
‘[He] felt he failed in his mission of value investing and lost his raison d’etre,’ the source added.
His death ‘was the final, tragic act of a brilliant investor whose life had become inextricably linked to the fate of his firm,’ people close to him said.
De Vaulx’s longtime business partner, Chuck de Lardemelle, left the company abruptly in July causing alarm for investors in the company which had been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic when investors withdrew their money.
According to the New York Post, sources close to de Vaulx said he was hurt when some investors no longer trusted him with their money despite being worth millions of dollars.
The firm’s assets had shrunk to $3 billion shortly before it was abruptly closed last month.
‘It was never about the money,’ one person close to de Vaulx told the outlet. ‘IVA was an embodiment of de Vaulx’s personality and when it began to unwind, he took it personally.’
De Vaulx was a protégé of legendary investor Jean-Marie Eveillard and had founded IVA after abruptly leaving the firm First Eagle.
His reputed as a value manager who favored undervalued and unloved stocks. He was named Morningstar´s International Stock Manager of the Year in 2001 along with Eveillard – his long-time mentor. He was a runner-up for the same prize in 2006.
The more reason it was cutting that leading up to the liquidation, investors had been withdrawing their cash in droves as IVA’s strategy of value investing, that is scooping up undervalued stocks, which in normal market coditions, boosted growth stocks also led to catastrophic losses during the pandemic.
A month earlierto the death knell, IVA had liquidated after a turbulent year that included the abrupt departure of de Vaulx’s longtime business partner, Chuck de Lardemelle, a respected money manager in his own right.
IVA was founded in 2007 after a group of partners abruptly left First Eagle, an iconic money management firm from the 1980s and 1990s that was founded by legendary investor Jean-Marie Eveillard. De Vaulx’s departure from First Eagle reportedly, amid a dispute with investors who had acquired it, forced Eveillard out of retirement to run it again.
IVA quickly became one of the fastest-growing funds in the United States, but over time, it became clear that de Vaulx and de Lardemelle fundamentally disagreed on how the firm should be run.
Even as IVA grew into a closely followed firm on Wall Street that boasted around 40 employees, de Vaulx was unwilling to cede any control or responsibility to de Lardemelle, the sources said.
Last July, de Lardemelle announced his departure, a move that dismayed investors and put an end to his personal and professional relationship with de Vaulx. Investors saw de Lardemelle’s exit as cause for alarm. Over the next six months, the fund dwindled to around $3 billion as investors yanked out money.
People close to de Vaulx say that even though he was worth hundreds of millions of dollars, it was a blow to him that some investors no longer trusted him with their money.
“It was never about the money,” one person close to de Vaulx said. “IVA was an embodiment of de Vaulx’s personality and when it began to unwind, he took it personally.”