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Subject: Barton Biggs Dies at Age 79 (Finance /Investment /CNBC)

Written By: Claybricks on 07/16/12 at 8:17 am
Traxis Partners LP co-founder and managing partner Barton Biggs is seen in February 2011 as he speaks at the Bloomberg Link China Investment Strategies conference in New York.

Traxis Partners Founder Barton Biggs Dies at Age 79

By Elizabeth Stanton - Jul 16, 2012 8:07 AM ET

Barton Biggs, the money manager whose attention to emerging markets during a 30-year career at Morgan Stanley made him one of the first global investment strategists, has died, according to a memo to employees from Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Gorman. He was 79.

Biggs died on July 14, according to the memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Jeanmarie McFadden, a spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley, confirmed the contents of the memo to employees.

Biggs predicted the bull market in U.S. stocks that began in 1982 and warned investors away from Japanese shares in 1989 before they collapsed. He sealed his fame telling investors to sell technology stocks as they soared in the late 1990s, a judgment dismissed by the press and other investors until the dot-com bubble burst.

After retiring from Morgan Stanley (MS) in 2003 at age 70, he started Traxis Partners, a hedge fund, with two other Morgan Stanley alumni. While he was blindsided by the credit crisis that sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in 2008 to its biggest annual decline since 1937, he correctly called the bottom in U.S. stocks in March 2009, and Traxis’s flagship fund returned three times the industry average in 2009.

Biggs sold stocks at Traxis in September 2011 and July 2010 just before gains of more than 20 percent in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, adding them back as the rallies progressed.

“He has a strong constitution for standing away from the crowd,” Ed Hyman, chairman and founder of Institutional Strategy & Investment, said in a 2009 interview. Hyman, an investor in Traxis, played tennis with Biggs.

Biggs largely invented the role of chief global strategist, which he assumed at Morgan Stanley in 1985, said Stephen Roach, who joined the firm as an economist in 1982 and became chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia.

‘Way Ahead’

“When I joined Morgan Stanley, we were a U.S.-centric business, and within three years, he said, ‘Look, I’m going to step down as U.S. strategist and redefine myself as a global strategist,” Roach said. “He was way ahead of the pack in discovering and committing himself personally to being one of Wall Street’s first global investors and global strategists.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Stanton in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at


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