By Katya Wachtel
NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - Billionaire trader Marc Lasry told investors in his $12 billion Avenue Capital that he will remain at the hedge fund and not become the next U.S ambassador to France, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Lasry, who had been expected to get the nomination, told clients in a note on Tuesday that he would remain at the New York-based firm, according to the source, who did not want to be identified.
Lasry, who would have been the first hedge fund manager tapped to be a U.S. ambassador, declined to comment.
Lasry, a longtime Democratic donor with close ties to former President Bill Clinton, was considered to be the front-runner to be nominated by President Barack Obama as the next ambassador to France. Chelsea Clinton, the former president's daughter, once worked for Avenue, a distressed debt hedge fund, as an analyst.
Lasry is one of the few hedge fund managers who was a strong supporter and fundraiser for Obama during his re-election campaign in 2012, hosting a $40,000 per plate fundraiser for him at his townhouse in Manhattan.
It was not immediately clear what happened to derail Lasry's expected nomination. But people close to the hedge fund said there had always been a concern about how Lasry would separate himself from the fund without being forced to sell his financial stake. If nominated, Lasry had intended to return to the fund at some point in the future.
At an event in March, former President Clinton said Lasry had been notified by the White House that he would be nominated for the post. Neither the White House nor Lasry returned a request for comment on the nomination at the time, but a person familiar with the situation confirmed Clinton's remarks.
(Reporting by Katya Wachtel; Edited by Matthew Goldstein and Dan Grebler) Keywords: AVENUECAPITAL/LASRY
(Katya.Wachtel@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 646 223 6203)
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