A well-connected hedge funder with ties to Bernie Madoff plunged to his death at a posh New York hotel, according to reports.
Charles Murphy, who most recently worked with hedge fund heavyweight John Paulson at Paulson & Co., was pronounced dead shortly after 5 p.m. Monday at the Sofitel building in what authorities are calling an apparent suicide. The New York Post reported that Murphy, 56, jumped from a room on the 24th floor and landed on a fourth-floor terrace.
“We are extremely saddened by this news. Charles was an extremely gifted and brilliant man, a great partner and a true friend,” Paulson said in a statement. “Our deepest prayers are with his family.”
There was no apparent motive for the suicide, though Murphy’s financial travails have been well-documented.
Murphy’s Fairfield Greenwich fund had invested more than $7 billion with Madoff before it became known in 2008 that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. Fairfield eventually agreed to pay $125 million to settle a lawsuit related to the Madoff case, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Madoff himself is serving a 150-year prison sentence; his son Mark hanged himself in 2010. Murphy is believed to be the fourth person connected to the Madoff case to commit suicide.
After leaving Fairfield, Murphy went to work for Paulson, whose spokesman told CNBC the firm would have no further comment.
Murphy, along with his second wife, Annabelle, had lived in a townhouse on East 67th Street purchased for $33 million, a record then for a mansion less than 26 feet wide, according to the Observer.
He had been looking to sell the home in recent years, with an asking price last year of $49.5 million. The mansion has eight bedrooms, 11 fireplaces, Venetian plastered walls and two elliptical staircases, according to The Real Deal. The current asking price was $36 million, according to the Daily Mail. The home also is believed to include a gym, wine cellar and an elevator.
Financial problems may have been come into play; the Post quoted a parking garage attendant as saying Annabelle Murphy was in an automobile accident last year but couldn’t afford to have the car fixed.
In addition to his work with Paulson and Fairfield, Murphy also worked with Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse.
The family was not available for further comment. The Murphys are believed to have two young sons. He also had two children with his first wife, Heather Kerzner.