A prominent investor’s apparent suicide after his financial empire collapsed is being mourned as a Wall Street tragedy.
Shortly before 1 p.m. Monday, Charles de Vaulx entered the posh Midtown tower at 717 Fifth Ave. that had long housed the offices of International Value Advisers, an investment firm founded 14 years ago, according to police.
Minutes later, de Vaulx — who built IVA into a financial powerhouse with $20 billion in assets at its peak before it abruptly liquidated last month — plummeted from the 10th floor, according to a building employee. Responders at the scene pronounced him dead at 1:05 p.m.
Police are investigating the death of the 59-year-old, Moroccan-born financier, but no foul play is suspected. And de Vaulx had not been accused of any wrongdoing.
In piecing together de Vaulx’s passing, people close to the firm say it was the final, tragic act of a brilliant investor whose life had become inextricably linked to the fate of his firm.
“This is a Shakespearean tragedy on a lot of levels … Ironically many of the stocks he owned have appreciated significantly in the past few months,” a source close to de Vaulx told The Post, on the condition of anonymity.
“Charles was a complex man with a lot of hubris who felt he failed in his mission of value investing and lost his raison d’etre,” the source added.
A month earlier, IVA had liquidated after a turbulent year that included the abrupt departure of de Vaulx’s longtime business partner, Chuck de Lardemelle —
a respected money manager in his own right.
Leading to the liquidation, investors had been withdrawing their cash in droves as IVA’s strategy of value investing — scooping up undervalued stocks — had gotten hammered by the pandemic, which boosted growth stocks.
Still, the brisk liquidation surprised and puzzled some investors, as de Vaulx still boasted a loyal group of clients.
But IVA’s end had been no less dramatic than its beginning. IVA was founded in 2007 after a group of partners abruptly left First Eagle, an iconic money management shop from the 1980s and 1990s that was founded by legendary investor Jean-Marie Eveillard.