Money managers under the microscope
Getting information out of secretive hedge fund firm TCI (The Children’s Investment fund) can be a difficult task — just ask the Treasury Select Committee, whose tough questioning of founder Chris Hohn in January was met with short responses.
However, it appears the activist firm has been on the move, hiring Masroor Siddiqui, head of the European business at Canyon Capital.
The hire comes after a tough period for TCI, as for most event-driven funds.
It reportedly suffered performance losses of around 43 percent in 2008 in falling stock markets, while in January Reuters revealed partner and co-founder Patrick Degorce had left.
However, the environment for the likes of TCI is definitely getting easier and performance could again soon be on the up – the FTSE is up by more than a quarter since early March, while event-driven funds are in positive territory year-to-date.
Tuesday’s Treasury Select Committee grilling of the hedge fund industry proved a lively affair (if somewhat hot in a crammed Westminster room), but you have to wonder how well diversified their choice of witnesses is.
As well as Chris Hohn, co-founder of TCI, the Committee picked BlackRock’s head of alternatives Douglas Shaw — a previous employee of TCI.
Tuesday’s grilling of UK hedge fund executives is likely to create plenty of noise but produce little in the way of new rules.
While media-shy TCI founder Chris Hohn and others will face tough questions from the Treasury Select Committee on financial stability, short-selling and other issues, it nevertheless seems that the pro-legislation lobby’s position may be weaker than it has been in recent years.