Star investor builds stake in IG Group

A STAR New York investor has emerged as a significant shareholder in London-based spread-betting firm IG Group.

William von Mueffling, one of Wall Street’s so-called “hedge-fund elite”, has seen his holding in the firm rise above five per cent.

Placed through his Cantillon Capital investment vehicle, the 5.01 per cent stake is worth £80m at the current share price.

Sources close to von Mueffling, who turned his back on hedge-fund management two years ago, say Cantillon’s share increased due to fresh inflows, which have pushed up the size of its assets under management. The input of von Mueffling will be seen as a boost to IG, which has struggled in tough market conditions so far this year.

The spread-betting firm revealed a half-year loss in January, after it was hit by a £143m write-down on its Japanese foreign exchange FXO.

Von Mueffling made his name at Lazard running its European Opportunities Fund.

He predicted the end of the dot.com boom and made millions for investors, before he fell out with boss Bruce Wasserstein.

He quit in 2003, leaving to found Cantillon – a firm he grew into one of the most successful Wall Street hedge funds before quitting hedge funds two years ago.

He turned the firm into a long-only investor, focusing on a select number of companies.