Best Hedge Fund Manager in Long/Short Equities
John Armitage’s global hedge fund was up 13.7% last year with an average net exposure of 60%. Egerton’s assets have grown from $4.7bn at the end of 2011 to $7.7bn this year. It has just closed the hedge fund to new money. Since 1994, the strategy has delivered annualised gains of almost 15%.
Pete Davis and Stuart Roden’s Lansdowne Developed Markets fund gained 17.96% in 2012. Drivers of this were positions such as Lloyds Banking Group and Inmarsat that had cost the fund money last year. The pair expanded its geographical remit, capped its size at $7.5bn and launched a long-only version of the strategy.
Last year Marshall Wace’s pioneering TOPS strategy celebrated its 10-year anniversary. During 2012, European TOPS was up 11.3% and market neutral TOPS gained 14.8%, while co-founder Paul Marshall’s Eureka fund was up 7.5%. Institutional mandate wins drove an increase in assets from $5.5bn to $8.3bn.
Odey Asset Management
Long positions in Barclays, BSkyB and Sky Deutschland helped Crispin Odey’s Odey European hedge fund gain 30.7% in 2012, while James Hanbury’s roughly $750m fund was up 36.3% during the year. The firm’s assets grew from $6.2bn to $7.4bn in 2012.
Pensato’s European long/short equity fund protected capital in 2011 and delivered gains of 11.2% last year with 16% average net exposure. Assets grew 36% in 2012 to over $400m with inflows to both the offshore and Ucits vehicles. Former Fidelity veteran Graham Clapp leads an eight-strong investment team.
Best Hedge Fund Manager in Event-Driven and Distressed
Astellon Capital Partners
Set up by Bernd Ondruch and Christian Vogel-Claussen, Astellon’s $300m event-driven fund gained 14% in 2012, its first year of trading. On average it was 5% net long during 2012. Two thirds of the fund is invested in German-speaking Europe. The team puts a big emphasis on proprietary research.
This Swedish activist group played a big role in ensuring UK industrial group Cookson was split into two in November. Other targets last year were Old Mutual and Danske Bank. The Cevian II fund gained 25% in 2012. The €6bn firm is led by Christer Gardell and Lars Förberg.
Galia Velimukhametova’s GLG European Distressed Debt fund was up 17.6% in 2012. The $550m strategy, which has had annualised returns of 22.87% since it launched in September 2009, soft-closed to new money in August.
Led by Chris Gate, this $950m European event-driven firm spun out of Tudor Investment Corporation in 2006. It gained 25.2% last year. Positions in the subordinated debt of European banks was one theme that paid off. The fund has recently reopened to raise an additional $300m-$400m.
The York European Focus fund gained 15.57% last year, while the York European Opportunities fund was up 10.66%. The European arm of James Dinan’s firm made money in the European periphery, including Greek government bonds and in banks, particularly hybrid bank bonds. It runs $2.5bn across the two funds.
Best Hedge Fund Manager in Managed Futures
Both of this firm’s two trading programmes made money last year. The $500m Amplitude Klassik strategy was up 17.35%, while the $1bn Amplitude Dynamic strategy, which trades a slightly shorter-term time horizon, gained 1.33%. Amplitude, which moved its headquarters from London to Zug in 2008, is led by Karsten Schroeder.
BlueCrest Capital Management
Despite flat performance last year, Leda Braga’s $14.4bn BlueTrend programme has delivered 5.19% annualised returns over the past three years, and gained 3.81% in January. In March last year BlueCrest raised £165m for a listed version of BlueTrend. Performance has been helped by a new trend-following system.
Cantab Capital Partners
While most managed futures funds lost money in 2012, Cantab’s systematic quantitative fund gained 15.3%. Recently the $4.7bn Cambridge-based firm launched a new managed futures fund that charges fees of only 0.5% and 10% because it believes investors are being overcharged by many big quant funds.
Wadhwani Asset Management
Sushil Wadhwani’s $1.2bn medium-term strategy, which trades price and non-price factors, was up 6.55% last year. A Ucits version of the strategy, the GAM Star Keynes fund, sits on GAM’s platform. Wadhwani signed a strategic partnership with Bruce Kovner’s Caxton Associates in 2011.
Winton Capital Management
Despite lacklustre performance in 2012, David Harding’s flagship Winton Futures fund had annualised returns of 7.3% over the past three years. In September $26bn Winton teamed up with Shanghai-based Fortune SG Fund Management for what is believed to be the first Chinese managed futures fund.
Best Hedge Fund Manager in Fixed Income
BlackRock’s European multi-strategy global fixed income fund gained 14.37% in 2012. It has posted annualised returns of 15.18% over the past three years. The $1.68bn fund trades more than 45 different strategies, including credit, interest rates and emerging markets. It is managed by a team of 72 people.
BlueCrest Capital Management
BlueCrest International, this manager’s flagship fixed income global macro hedge fund led by founder Michael Platt, finished 2012 up 5.83% and has posted annualised gains of 8.2% over the past three years with 2.68% volatility. Assets in the strategy grew from $9.9bn to $14.3bn during 2012.
Brummer & Partners Nektar
This Swedish firm’s relative value fund gained 7.91% in 2012, following gains of 7.6% in 2011 and 16.09% in 2010. Chief investment officer Kent Janer leads a team of 10 portfolio managers. Assets in the strategy grew from $4bn to $4.5bn last year.
This relative value fund, run by a team at Mako Investment Managers led by Bruno Usai, gained 12.2% in 2010, 3.08% in 2011 and 4.36% last year. The $900m fund recently reopened to new money. Last year the investment team grew by a third.
Prologue’s strategy, which focuses on US and European fixed income, and global inflation trading, gained 6.02% last year and had annualised returns of 7.01% over the past three years. The firm’s assets grew from $1.3bn to $2bn during 2012. Last year Prologue hired three portfolio managers.
Best Hedge Fund Manager in Credit
Brummer and Partners Observatory
Brummer’s long/short corporate credit fund gained 13.5% last year and has achieved annualised returns of 13% since it launched in 2004. Shazad Ghaffar, Salman Khan and Edward Zee are the portfolio managers. Assets in the strategy increased by about a quarter to more than $1bn in 2012.
The Cairn Subordinated Financials Fund was up 43.4% last year, while the Cairn Special Opportunities Credit Fund gained 20%. Cairn was shortlisted for HM Treasury’s Business Finance Partnership initiative to manage assets lending directly to UK mid-market businesses. Assets increased by $300m to $2bn during the year.
Chenavari Investment Managers
Loïc Fery’s $3.3bn credit boutique saw $500m net inflows last year and hasn’t had a down year since it launched in 2008. Its European asset-backed securities fund gained 32.4% in 2012 and has achieved annualised returns of 61.6% since June 2009. Chenavari has been expanding in direct lending and regulatory capital transactions.
The Cheyne Real Estate Debt Fund gained 18.4% last year and recently closed to new money at more than $1bn. Cheyne’s four offshore corporate credit funds all posted gains north of 20% in 2012, notably its $865m Cheyne Total Return Credit Fund, which invests in structured credit and was up 72.3%.
Michael Hintze’s directional opportunities fund was up 36% in 2012, while the CQS ABS fund gained 16.9%. Firm assets rose from $10.4bn to $12bn last year and CQS hired Marc Hotimsky, the co-founder of NewFinance Capital, as chairman to further institutionalise the business.
Best Hedge Fund Manager in Global Macro
Brevan Howard Asset Management
Geraldine Sundstrom’s emerging markets fund was up 14.1% last year, while Brevan Howard’s $27.8bn flagship master fund gained 4%, driven largely by gains in interest rates and credit trading. The firm saw a net addition of 38 investment professionals last year and opened a new trading office in New York.
Over half of BTG’s investment team is based in London. Positions in US agency mortgages, credit and Brazilian rates helped BTG’s global emerging markets and macro fund gain 28.1% in 2012. The fund more than doubled from $2.3bn to $4.8bn over the course of the year, and is now closed to new money.
Adrian Owens’ GAM Global Rates fund was up 14.7% last year with gains coming from relative value rather than directional trades. Assets increased from $1.8bn to $2.6bn during 2012, with most inflows going to the Ucits version of the strategy. A currency fund run by Owens was up by more than 23%.
North Asset Management
This $300m boutique’s MaxQ fund gained 15.5% last year, following on from a 25.2% gain in 2011. Successful themes it traded last year included the Eurozone crisis, short Japan yen and long equities, and divergence in emerging markets debt and currency performance. North’s managing partners are Nick D’Onofrio and George Papamarkakis.
This emerging markets boutique’s $1.6bn Spinnaker Global Opportunity fund, which focuses on macro fixed-income and corporate credit, gained 14.3% in 2012 with annualised returns of 14.3% since it launched in 2001. Its $1.6bn multi-strategy Spinnaker Global Emerging Markets fund was up 20.9% last year.
Best Multi-Hedge Fund Manager
BlueCrest Asset Management
BlueCrest’s $8.7bn multi-strategy fund AllBlue, which allocates across a range of in-house funds, ended 2012 up 6%. It has returned 5.3% annualised over the past three years, with 3% volatility. AllBlue won a £50m mandate from the London Borough of Camden Pension Fund, beating several mainstream funds of funds.
Brevan Howard Asset Management
Brevan Howard’s $4.5bn multi-strategy fund, which allocates across its in-house range, ended 2012 up 4.6%. The $39.9bn firm’s emerging markets fund gained 14.1% last year, while the credit catalysts fund was up 15.3%. The firm opened a trading office in New York, and saw a net addition of 38 investment professionals globally.
Brummer and Partners
Brummer Multi-Strategy, which invests across the firm’s eight hedge funds, gained 4.4% last year. The firm’s assets increased from $14bn to $15bn during 2012. Recently, the Swedish manager teamed up with former Rubicon Fund Management portfolio managers Tim Attias and Santiago Alarco for a new global macro fund.
The Cheyne Real Estate Debt Fund gained 18.4% last year, while its Cheyne Total Return Credit Fund, which invests in structured credit, was up 72.3%. The $6.3bn firm has been expanding its equities offering and last year hired six new equities portfolio managers.
The CQS Diversified fund, which allocates across its in-house range, gained 11.4% last year and had annualised returns of 7.2% over the last three years. Notable gains came from founder Michael Hintze’s directional opportunities fund, which was up 35.9% in 2012. The firm’s assets rose from $10.4bn to $12bn during the year.
Most Pioneering European Institutional Investor in Hedge Funds
This Swedish pension fund backed Ivaldi Capital, an asset management platform that was formed by a team of Citigroup executives. Ivaldi recently spun out its first team, providing $200m in locked-up capital to MSK Capital, which was set up by former Altima Partners’ long/short equity manager Makis Kaketsis.
Denmark’s largest pension fund has closed down its internal hedge fund arm and now plans to integrate its hedge fund investment platform into its main investment portfolio. The $111.8bn scheme is now looking for new, cheaper and more transparent ways to capture alternative beta.
Beazley/Falcon Money Management
This $4.2bn asset manager was set up in 2009 to run money for Beazley insurance company, which owns 25% of Falcon. Between July 2009 and the end of January, their low volatility strategy has delivered annualized net returns of 4.3% with 1.5% annualized volatility.
This final-salary pension scheme runs $1.83bn in hedge funds and began investing directly in 2008. The hedge fund portfolio was up 8.8% last year. The team has been active in scrutinising hedge fund governance, and pushing for independent directors, independent auditors and voting rights.
West Yorkshire Pension Fund
Last year, this £9bn public pension scheme, which has about £260m invested in hedge funds, teamed up with fund of funds manager Aurum Funds for a bespoke “fund-of-one” structure. The move, which is designed to cut costs and achieve a better alignment of interests, is novel for a local authority scheme.
New Hedge Fund Management Firm of the Year
Frere Hall Capital Management
Taimur Hassan, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs who ran its oil trading desk, launched a commodities hedge fund on July 1. The fund gained 9% in the remainder of last year. Assets have grown from $165m on day one to just under $600m. The fund is likely to close at $800m shortly.
Hengistbury Investment Partners
Stuart Powers, a former partner at The Children’s Investment Fund, launched a global long/short equity fund on January 1. The fund gained 23.34% in 2012 and assets grew from $25m to $700m over the course of the year. It has now soft closed.
New Peak Capital Partners
Massimo Bertoli, the former European head of special situations at Och-Ziff Capital Management, teamed up with Marble Bar’s Stephen Sales. New Peak signed a $75m seed deal with Goldman Sachs Asset Management and launched an event-driven hedge fund in November. So far the firm has raised $230m.
Stone Milliner Asset Management
This global macro spinout from Louis Bacon’s Moore Capital kicked off last February with over $1bn, including a substantial seed investment from Moore. Co-chief investment officers Jens-Peter Stein and Kornelius Klobucar are based in Zug. The Stone Milliner Macro Fund gained 13.77% in its first 12 months.
Former Gartmore star trader Guillaume Rambourg set up Paris-based Verrazzano and launched two European long/short hedge funds. Firm assets have grown from $280m last March to $620m. Both funds made money last year. Last month Verrazzano launched a long-only fund.
New Hedge Fund of the Year
Brummer and Partners Carve
Brummer partners Per Josefsson and Peter Thelin launched a new fund in November to capitalise on global financial imbalances. The strategy, which invests in equities, corporate bonds and government bonds, kicked off with $650m. Investors are locked in for three years, allowing the managers to invest in less liquid strategies.
BTG Pactual Global Equity Opportunities Fund
Led by BTG managing partner David Herzberg, this new fund focuses on equity derivatives. It opened to external investors in March seeded with $100m from BTG and has since tripled in size. In the remaining 10 months of 2012, the fund was up 7.4%. More than half of BTG’s investment team is based in London.
Dromeus Greek Advantage Fund
While others deemed Greece “uninvestable”, Dromeus Capital Group saw an opportunity. In October, it launched the Dromeus Greek Advantage Fund, which invests in equities and corporate and sovereign bonds. The €44m fund gained 40.3% in the remaining three months of 2012 and was up 11.6% in January.
LMR Global Opportunities Fund
This $120m fund that launched in April removes the capacity-constrained parts of the LMR Partners’ flagship LMR Fund, which combines systematic equities, short-term discretionary global macro and managed futures. It was up by more than 7% in the remaining nine months of the year. LMR is backed by Donald Sussman’s Paloma Partners.
Maj Invest sinAI
Run by Kurt Kara at $8bn Danish asset manager Maj Invest, the “stock market investing Artificial Intelligence” fund launched in July. The $200m market-neutral strategy uses computers to scan for patterns in the US equity markets.
Best Fund of Hedge Funds Manager
Investors praised this $2bn boutique’s high-conviction approach to manager selection. Its flagship Aurum Investor Institutional Dollar Fund allocates to 12-16 managers. The fund, which has a bias towards trading-style managers, gained 7.1% last year with annualised returns of 2.5% over the past three years. Ruth Idzik joined Aurum as head of portfolio advisory.
The Capital Holdings Funds (Edmond de Rothschild)
Led by Rick Sopher, this $2.6bn boutique’s Leveraged Capital Holdings Fund gained 8.6% in 2012, while its global macro Trading Capital Holdings fund has recorded annualised returns of 7% over the past five years. In July, the firm entered into a strategic partnership with Jacob Rothschild’s RIT Capital Partners, which bought 49% of the business.
HSBC Alternative Investment Group
The multi-strategy HSBC GH Fund was up 5.9% in 2012, while the HSBC Multi-Adviser Arbitrage Fund gained 5%. In September, HSBC launched a high-conviction fund to give private clients exposure to its strongest ideas. This year it plans to launch a bespoke service for clients with more than $100m in hedge funds.
LGT Capital Partners
LGT’s multi-strategy listed Castle Alternative Invest fund gained 7.9% last year. The firm raised more than $1bn in net new money and now runs $6.2bn in funds of hedge funds. Notable growth has come from tailor-made solutions and LGT has also been expanding its internal managed account platform.
Towers Watson’s clients have more than $20bn in hedge funds, led by Damien Loveday. While the pension consultancy doesn’t have a commingled fund-of-funds, it has been beating competition from those that do. Last year, it won a mandate to run £100m in hedge funds for the £1.5bn Willis Pension Scheme.
Best Hedge Fund Manager Overall
More than half of BTG’s investment team is based in London. Last year, the BTG Pactual Distressed Mortgage Fund gained 45.9%, while the BTG Pactual Global Emerging Markets and Macro Fund was up 28.1%. An equity opportunities fund that launched in March returned 7.4% in the remaining 10 months of the year.
Cantab Capital Partners
While most managed futures funds lost money in 2012, Cantab’s systematic quantitative fund gained 15.3%. Recently, the $4.7bn Cambridge-based firm launched a new managed futures fund that charges fees of only 0.5% and 10% because it believes investors are being overcharged by many big quant funds.
Michael Hintze’s directional opportunities fund was up 35.9% in 2012, while the CQS ABS fund gained 16.9%. Firm assets rose from $10.4bn to $12bn last year and CQS hired Marc Hotimsky, the co-founder of NewFinance Capital, as chairman to further institutionalise the business.
Last year, Marshall Wace’s pioneering TOPS strategy celebrated its 10-year anniversary. During 2012, European TOPS was up 11.3% and market neutral TOPS gained 14.8%; while co-founder Paul Marshall’s Eureka fund was up 7.5%. Institutional mandate wins drove an increase in assets from $5.5bn to $8.3bn.
Odey Asset Management
Long positions in Barclays, BSkyB and Sky Deutschland helped Crispin Odey’s Odey European hedge fund gain 30.7% in 2012, while James Hanbury’s $750m fund was up 36.3% during the year. Firm assets increased from $6.2bn to $7.4bn in 2012.
Most Influential Woman in the European Hedge Fund Industry
President and head of systematic trading, BlueCrest Capital Management
Brazilian-born Braga joined former JP Morgan colleague Mike Platt at BlueCrest in 2001 to lead the firm’s move into systematic trading. Now, her $14.4bn trend-following programme BlueTrend is the firm’s largest strategy. It has annualised returns of 5.19% over the past three years. Last March, BlueCrest raised £165m for a listed version of BlueTrend.
Co-head of Europe, Blackstone Alternative Asset Management
Last March Eshak was promoted to co-head of Europe at Blackstone, the largest investor in hedge funds in the world with $43bn. She is is responsible for marketing and client servicing in the region, and is head of commodities. Eshak is the European chair of the 100 Women in Hedge Funds professional network.
Chief investment officer, Oxford University Endowment Management
Robertson joined the Oxford endowment in September 2007, after 14 years at the Wellcome Trust. The £966.4m Oxford Endowment fund, which targets long-term funding, gained 11.7% in 2010 and made a small loss of 1.6% in 2011. Robertson recently captured attention for her criticism of the private equity industry’s high fees and relative underperformance.
Portfolio manager, Brevan Howard Asset Management
After leaving Moore Capital, Geneva-based Sundstrom was approached by Brevan Howard founder Alan Howard to launch an emerging markets fund for the firm. The $2.7bn fund gained 14.1% last year and has annualised returns of 7.8% since it launched in 2007.
Portfolio manager, GLG Partners
Velimukhametova cut her teeth at JP Morgan. She set up the London office of US credit manager King Street Capital before being lured to GLG Partners in 2008. Her GLG European Distressed Debt fund was up 17.6% in 2012 and the $550m strategy soft-closed to new money in August.
Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution (Editorial Choice)
To be announced on the night.
The awards will also feature the 3rd Annual FN 40 Under 40 Rising Stars of the European Hedge Fund Industry. Please click here for the full list of rising stars.
The shortlists are subjective. In drawing up the shortlists for these categories, Financial News may consider, where available: recent investment performance, risk-adjusted investment performance over three years, fund flows, reputation amongst peers, significant hires, innovations and business developments, and any other considerations it considers pertinent. Negative factors, such as a flagship fund being under water, a bad loss, a regulatory or legal investigation or exposure to a fraud may result in the exclusion of a potential nominee. Financial News tests its views confidentially with selected contacts in the market, and uses this feedback to refine the shortlists.