Slain money manager remembered as astute investor

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Thomas Gilbert Sr., the 70-year-old New York money manager found shot to death in his Beekman Place apartment, was a pedigreed Wall Street veteran who spent years as a private equity investor, the CEO of an online teacher education company and, most recently, a hedge fund manager.

His latest venture, Wainscott Capital Partners, was founded in 2011 to focus on investing in the stocks of biotechnology and health-care companies.

Wainscott-which shares the name of the area in the Hamptons where Gilbert had owned a home-is small by industry standards. The firm managed about $10 million as of September, according to marketing materials for a hedge fund conference. A person familiar with the fund confirmed that assets were likely about the same today, far less than the $200 million that has been widely reported.

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Regardless of the hedge fund's size, Gilbert was excited about his new act.

"The long-term future for healthcare investing continues to be bright, and we are seeing more asset allocators approaching us to participate in an actively managed healthcare fund with risk minimization. We believe that Wainscott offers that vehicle," Gilbert wrote in a November email.

The fund produced strong returns in its first few years of existence, according to materials posted on the firm's website. It also was up more than 10 percent in 2014 through October, according to an email sent to clients and prospects.

Gilbert was found dead Sunday with a single gunshot would to the head. Gilbert's son, Thomas "Tommy" Gilbert Jr., has been questioned by police, according to media reports, but no charges have been filed. He is considered a suspect by police, according to WNBC sources.

The elder Gilbert was remembered as a good person and a savvy investor.

"He was very smart and knew his space well," said Jaeson Dubrovay, a hedge fund consultant who had strategized with Gilbert on helping Wainscott attract capital.

That sentiment was echoed by others who came in contact with Gilbert.

"Tom impressed me as being very intelligent, thoughtful, and nonaggressive. This last trait is rare in the hedge fund world," said Don Sussis, a former hedge fund marketing and communications executive who said he knew Gilbert for about 15 years.

The two met when Gilbert asked Sussis to look at a project to revitalize the way history was taught by using multimedia.

"Losing Tom now is shocking and takes away a good man who tried to conduct himself and his business with high standards-including a concern for others," Sussis said.

Gilbert enjoyed an elite education, graduating from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, Princeton University and Harvard Business School.

Reached at Wainscott Capital's New York City office, Clay LeConey, the fund's vice president for sales and marketing, said, "We're not issuing a statement" at this point on the death of the fund's founder, but that business operations at Wainscott are "on hold" for the moment.

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With reporting from CNBC's Kate Kelly.

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