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As New York court dismisses claims against Systematic Alpha from Russian investor, another lawsuit comes in

Thursday, January 12, 2012
Opalesque Industry Update – The Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York has dismissed all claims against Systematic Alpha principals (the ‘Systematic Alpha Parties’) arising from the Matveev v. Batratchenko case, with prejudice.

The action was brought by Nicolay Matveev, a citizen of the Russian Federation, asserting claims arising from investments he made in “programs” operated from Russia and other countries by Oleg Batratchenko and various “Thor Group” companies he controls. Systematic Alpha Management, Peter Kambolin, and Alexei Chekhlov (the “Systematic Alpha Parties”) were named as defendants in the action based on allegations that they were connected with Mr. Batratchenko’s investment programs.

The Consent Judgment expressly determined that “none of the Systematic Alpha Parties had any involvement whatsoever in the Thor Defendants’ investment programs, and that Matveev’s claims in this action against the Systematic Alpha Parties are entirely without merit.”

Despite this disposition of the Matveev action, a nearly identical lawsuit has now been filed in the same court (before the same judge) by three additional Russian individuals claiming to be victims of Mr. Batratchenko’s investment programs. In this suit, entitled Tamara Starshinova, et al. v. Oleg Batratchenko, et al., the named plaintiffs purport to be suing both for themselves and on behalf of 479 other investors in the programs.

As in the Matveev action, Systematic Alpha Management LLC, Mr. Kambolin, and Dr. Chekhlov have been included as defendants based on their supposed involvement in Mr. Batratchenko’s programs. In this case, however, the plaintiffs have also named as defendants Systematic Alpha Futures Fund, Ltd., Systematic Alpha Futures Fund, L.P., Systematic Alpha Diversified Fund, Ltd., and Systematic Alpha Master Fund, Ltd. (collectively, the “Funds”).

Although neither Mr. Kambolin, Dr. Chekhlov, SAM, nor any of the Funds has yet been served with a summons or complaint in the new lawsuit, all of them have demanded through their attorneys that the claims asserted against them be immediately withdrawn as without any good faith basis. None of the named plaintiffs, nor any of the 479 investors on whose behalf they purport to sue, has ever been a client of SAM or an investor in any fund ever managed by SAM.

“Should the claims not be withdrawan, we will vigorously defend them,” said Peter Kambolin, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Systematic Alpha Management. “The Funds will also vigorously defend the claims and likely also seek monetary sanctions against plaintiffs and their counsel.”

(press release)

Systematic Alpha Management LLC (SAM) is a fully systematic, quantitative CTA. Its investment program aims to generate pure alpha returns by utilizing predominantly contrarian trading in a diversified mix of the most liquid global equity and currency markets.

SAM’s objective is to deliver uncorrelated absolute returns while offering superior liquidity terms, flexibility and transparency to its investors. SAM’s high frequency trading programs are developed by a highly qualified team of theoretical physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists using the latest advances in data collection and analysis, and trading infrastructure.

The New York-based firm manages assets for funds of managed accounts, funds of funds, family offices, private banks and high net worth investors in the Americas, Europe and Asia. SAM is registered as a Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) and a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).

The Systematic Alpha Futures Program trades around the clock, six days a week, in 27 markets in three regions – North America, Europe and Asia. Systematic Alpha Management was co-founded and is co-managed by Dr. Alexei Chekhlov, SAM’s Head of Research and Portfolio Manager, and Peter Kambolin, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer.


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