Patrick McCormack-led hedge fund Tiger Consumer Management is shutting down after 15 years, and will return virtually all investor money by the end of March.

The hedge fund’s holdings of U.S. equities slid to $1.39 billion at the end of December from about $2 billion in the prior quarter.

Tiger consumer

2014 – The worst year for hedge fund closures since 2009

Patrick McCormack started New York-based Tiger Consumer after working for industry pioneer Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management, which closed in 2000. Tiger Consumer was among the first funds that the billionaire Robertson seeded after shutting down.

In a letter to investors, McCormack indicated that Tiger Consumer was up 4.6% in February and 3.9% in 2015.

Last year turned out to be one of the worst for hedge fund closures since 2009, driven by a combination of disappointing returns and the difficulty of raising money, as the largest firms garnered the lion’s share of cash.

ValueWalk published an article last December highlighting some of the worst long bets made by major hedge funds. For instance, Herbalife dropped nearly 50% of its share value. Nearly 33% of its equity cap was owned by hedge funds at the end of the third quarter. Some of the funds, including Tiger Consumer, got hurt by the fall in the nutritional supplements company’s share price.

However, George Soros’ firm Soros Fund Management LLC boosted its stake in Herbalife Ltd, while some of the firm’s top 20 investors, including Tiger Consumer, liquidated their positions during the fourth quarter. The New York-based Tiger Consumer got rid of all of its 1.8 million shares.

McCormack terms Tiger Consumer shut down a “difficult decision”

In his letter to investors on Wednesday, Patrick McCormack said: “Managing a fundamentally driven, long/short equity hedge fund is rewarding but demanding work”. He added: “The decision to wind-down is one of the most difficult I have faced, but I have given it considerable thought and believe now is the best time to do so, particularly given a strong start to the year”.

Don Steinbrugge, an industry consultant at Agecroft Partners, said running a hedge fund “takes a lot out of a person”.

McCormack indicated in his letter to investors that “after nearly 15 years of doing so, at this stage of my life, I would like to spend more time with my family”.

Last December, Jason Capello, who ran Merchants’ Gate Capital, said that he was ready to take a break after 20 years in finance to focus on his family.