Money managers under the microscope
Are we heading for another down year for hedge funds?
I ask because after a choppy six months or so, during which the FTSE 100 is down 3.6 pct, hedge funds have also lost 1.12 pct.
Some commentators are predicting a rebound in equities and other assets, but others expect further volatility, which could be harmful to funds’ returns.
Our stablemate Lipper, the fund research firm, is sticking its neck out for a better H2, arguing that earnings will surprise on the upside, double-dip fears will fade, and commodity investing will continue to throw up arbitrage opportunities. You can read Lipper’s latest report here.
I remember, at the Reuters Hedge Fund & Private Equity Summit in spring 2008, asking outspoken fund manager Hugh Hendry whether hedge funds might finish 2008 in the red after a tricky start to the year and losses of 4.4 pct in Q1.
The hedge fund circuit can be exhausting.
Last Thursday saw the plush fundraising dinner of ARK, the charity headed by Arpad Busson, fiance of Uma Thurman, at London’s Waterloo International.
The next date in the European hedge fund industry’s diary is next week’s annual GAIM conference, held in Monaco (where else?).
There’s nothing like backing up your stock market calls with a nice healthy profit, and Crispin Odey has done just that, revealing a 27.74 percent return in April from his European fund.
Having last month said the rally in equities could turn into a new bull market and having recently tucked away a few banks into his portfolio (after last year making money shorting banks), Odey has profited from the astonishing recovery over the past two months in Barclays shares, which alone accounted for nearly half the fund’s return last month.
It is not often that Reuters journalists carefully take down the words of an investor who regularly consults an astrologer, but then not every investor recorded a 32 percent increase in his portfolio in 2008.
As head of Eclectica Asset Management, Hugh Hendry cuts a figure not often seen in modern-day financial investing: a besuited Malcolm McLaren-esque counter-culture figure rather than a pointy-headed quant analyst.
Next week sees Reuters running its annual Hedge Funds & Global Equity Summit from 23rd-25th March, with some top speakers lined up.
And in his latest letter to investors, Hendry has smartly rebuffed any attempt to ‘save’ him from his bond investments.