SandRidge Energy Inc. CEO Tom Ward on Friday downplayed his involvement in a hedge fund he fronted with his Chesapeake Energy Corp. co-founder, Aubrey McClendon.
Reuters reported earlier this week that the hedge fund, Heritage Management Co. LLC, operated inside Chesapeake for about five years.
Ward told the news service there was nothing wrong with the arrangement, but some experts said it was rife with potential conflicts.
Chesapeake and McClendon’s personal spokesman have declined to comment on the hedge fund report, but Ward touched on it briefly during SandRidge’s first quarter earnings call on Friday.
“The fund that you read about was formed to manage personal investments and focused on a wide range of commodities, not specifically on energy,” Ward said, according to a transcript of the call.
He said the fund’s day-to-day activities were managed by a group of professionals hired to conduct its business.
“I served as an oversight role as I would for any other personal interest of mine. The time I spent dealing with this fund was relatively minor,” Ward said.
He said the fund stopped trading in 2008.
McClendon did not address the hedge fund in Chesapeake’s earnings call Wednesday, the same day as the Reuters report.