Case | HBS Case Collection | November 1999

Long-Term Capital Management, L.P. (A)

by Andre F. Perold

Abstract

Long-Term Capital Management, L.P. (LTCM) was in the business of engaging in trading strategies to exploit market pricing discrepancies. Because the firm employed strategies designed to make money over long horizons--from six months to two years or more--it adopted a long--term financing structure designed to allow it to withstand short-term market fluctuations. In many of its trades, the firm was in effect a seller of liquidity. LTCM generally sought to hedge the risk--exposure components of its positions that were not expected to add incremental value to portfolio performance and to increase the value-added component of its risk exposures by borrowing to increase the size of its positions. The fund's positions were diversified across many markets. This case is set in September 1997, when, after three and a half years of high investment returns, LTCM's fund capital had grown to $6.7 billion. Because of the limitations imposed by available market liquidity, LTCM was considering whether it was a prudent and opportune moment to return capital to investors.

Keywords: Fluctuation; Capital; Financial Liquidity; Financing and Loans; Investment Funds; Investment Portfolio; Corporate Governance; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Management; Risk Management; Marketing; Motivation and Incentives; Financial Services Industry;

Citation:

Perold, Andre F. "Long-Term Capital Management, L.P. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 200-007, November 1999.