Hedge Fund Focus: April 8, 2016
In case you missed them, here are the hot topics in the hedge fund/alternatives space this week…
Though we did see a rebound in March (HFR reported managers were up 1.2 percent on average), funds recorded the worst first quarter since the onset of the financial crisis and fund of hedge funds reported the worst start to a year ever.
Managers continued to report mixed returns. Och-Ziff and Nelson Peltz’s Trian were on the mend, up 2.1 percent and 7.24 percent, respectively, for March, but Brevan Howard lost over 2 percent for the month and Fortress’ Asian funds lost over 3 percent.
The same trend held true for strategies. CTAs, emerging markets, LatAm equity funds and risk parity funds rebounded last month, but merger-arbitrage funds took a beating due to deal collapses, and event-driven and activist strategies had a rough quarter as well.
Hard times appear to be ahead for Michael Hintze’s CSQ. The firm has parted ways with 12 traders and managers due to widespread performance issues. And things are not any better for Discovery Capital, where AUM fell 25 percent in the last year due to poor performance. Additionally, Tiger Global lost $1 billion on tech bets last quarter alone.
Hedge funds are the new venture capitalists according to The New York Times’ DealBook blog, which explained that more and more managers are helping startup companies raise the money they need to grow and expand.
The activist world was abuzz again this week:
The U.S. government sued ValueAct over the potential violation of antitrust laws for not disclosing minority stakes it bought in Baker Hughes and Halliburton in late 2014; Halliburton later bough Baker Hughes.
Activists are working to be seen as “constructionist,” investors who help companies raise their value, as opposed to robber barons.
And United Airlines pilots picketed in front of activist hedge funds’ offices this week to protest their push to gain control of the company’s board.