Cassandra Chase Dissolves Amid Lawsuit –

Cassandra Chase Entertainment Partners, the private equity fund formed last year between Chase Capital Partners and The Cassandra Group, has been renamed Chase Capital Entertainment Partners because The Cassandra Group will no longer be associated with the fund.

A source close to the situation confirmed that Chase Capital has cut its ties with Dana Giacchetto, the high-profile money manager and founder of The Cassandra Group, a New York-based asset management firm. The source declined to discuss the reasons for Giacchetto and The Cassandra Group’s exit from the fund, but said Giacchetto is no longer a partner in the fund, noting that he intends to focus more on his money management business.

Fingerpointing Leads to Lawsuit

Separately, at press time, it was learned that Giacchetto has filed a lawsuit against three Cassandra Chase partners-Robert Egan, a partner at Chase Capital, Jeffrey Sachs, a political consultant and dentist and Samuel Holdsworth, a private investor-claiming they sought to “freeze” him out of the partnership. In addition, the lawsuit claims Sachs told “false and defamatory stories” that Giacchetto was under SEC investigation, among other problems. Further, the lawsuit states that these stories led Chase Capital to eject him from the joint venture, and also caused him professional harm.

The court papers do not indicate that Giacchetto is seeking any damages against Chase Capital or Egan, but he is demanding a “full and complete accounting” of his involvement in Cassandra Chase from the firm. Giacchetto is seeking damages of as much as $100 million against Sachs and Holdsworth.

At press time, partners at Chase Capital could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit.

The Cassandra Group and Chase Capital announced their vehicle last December, calling it an open-ended $50 million to $100 million fund that would have only the two principals as investors, with the majority of capital for deals coming from Chase (BUYOUTS Dec. 7, 1998, p. 8).The end of the relationship between Chase Capital and The Cassandra Group comes amid concerns over Giacchetto’s dealings with the money of his celebrity clients, who have, until recently, included Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Ben Affleck.

Giacchetto reportedly has lost as many as 17 prominent clients in a short period of time, possibly as a result of several bad investments and organizational problems. Giacchetto could not be reached for comment.

A spokesperson at Chase Capital said despite the recent changes, Chase Capital Entertainment Partners will continue to invest in entertainment-related companies as originally intended.