Michael Joe leaving hedge fund

Former Relativity Media president Michael Joe is departing from hedge fund Elliott Management Corp.

Elliott and Joe said Wednesday that he will be leaving the firm to pursue a new opportunity but did not offer specifics.

During the past eight months, Joe has helped oversee Elliott’s investment in Relativity Media and Elliott’s slate financing deal with Universal.

“I cannot think of a better environment to have profoundly expanded my knowledge and understanding of the private fund management business,” Joe said in a statement. “However, it became increasingly apparent that on a personal and professional level, my passion is to be an active participant within the media and entertainment industry.”

In a statement, Jesse Cohn of Elliott said, “Since film-related investments represent a shrinking focus of Elliott’s portfolio, we understand and support Michael’s decision to pursue a new opportunity.”

Elliot said it would have no further comment.

Joe departed Relativity for the post at Elliot last May. Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh had hired Joe away from Universal in mid-2009.

New York-based Elliot helped get Relativity off the ground by backing its co-financing deal with Universal. It’s been in the process in recent montths of cutting its ties as the primary investor in Kavanaugh’s minimajor.

Relativity’s talks with JP Morgan as a possible replacement for Elliot came to a standstill in recent months (Variety, Nov. 11).

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