Not everyone in the hedge fund industry is miserable these days.
Collectively, the industry has returned 1.6% through June, according to Hedge Fund Research. That’s less than half the gains in the S&P 500.
And some of the industry’s headline-grabbers are faring much worse: The flagship fund at Bridgewater Associates dropped 12% through June. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management has had a particularly difficult year, with his one of his biggest bets – Valeant Pharmaceuticals – getting crushed, while a massive bet against Herbalife also went wrong.
This underperformance is a problem for investors. After all, the funds charge hefty fees – typically 2% of all assets, and a one-fifth cut of profits – often with the promise that they’ll do better than the markets.
And we’re hearing all kinds of explanations for the collectively weak performance, like that it’s a product of a lack of diversity in staffing.
One seemingly conflicting data point out last week, highlighted by my colleague Rachel Butt, is that even though hedge funds have been lagging for a few years, big investors in the industry – like pension funds and high-net-worth people – aren’t pulling back in any noticeable way.
The explanation for this is actually pretty straightforward: Those investors may be pulling money out of poor performers, but they’re rolling it back into the hedge funds that are actually doing well right now. And that’s keeping overall assets in the industry steady.
Here’s a short list of some of the funds that are bucking the trend:
- Quantedge Global Fund (quantitative global macro strategy): Quantedge Global Fund’s Class B shares returned 40.4% through June 30. The fund manages $1.3 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. Saba Capital (credit relative value strategy): Boaz Weinstein’s flagship fund has returned about 10% through June, according to a person familiar with the $1.5 billion fund. Tulip Trend Fund (managed futures): Tulip Trend Fund (USD C-Class) is up 20.15% through June, according to a fund document obtained by Business Insider. The fund, which is overseen by Progressive Capital Partners in Switzerland, manages $298 million. Tulip’s returns have swung from red to green over the past few years, returning 35.53% in 2014 but dropping 10.65% last year, the document shows. Mudrick Distressed Opportunity (distressed debt): The fund returned 16.96% through June, according to an HSBC report. That would be a turnaround from last year, as the fund was down for most of the year, according to Bloomberg. Mudrick didn’t respond to a request for comment. Man Group Numeric Investors (emerging-markets equity): The $1 billion emerging-markets equity fund was up 7.75% this year through June, people familiar with the matter previously told Business Insider. Quest Partners (managed futures): The $624 million firm’s flagship fund returned 18.34% through June, a performance document viewed by Business Insider shows. The fund is part of Quest’s managed-futures strategy, which manages $325 million; $113 million of that is in the flagship fund, according to spokesman Max Hilton at Peregrine Communications, an external PR firm. Beachhead Capital Dynamic Beta (liquid alts CTA): This CTA strategy is up 11.4% net through July 8, according to Andrew Beer, the firm’s CEO. The strategy is not technically a hedge fund, but a managed account with lower fees than traditional funds.