Meet the few bright spots in hedge funds industry

While the hedge fund industry has largely been flat this year, a few closely watched managers are standing out — a welcome news for the portfolios that have struggled in recent years.

DE Shaw, the secretive hedge fund behemoth founded by David Shaw, has racked up 20% gains in one fund through June, compared to a meager 1% gain for the industry. The firm’s multi-billion dollar composite portfolio is up more than 7% in the same time period, according to an investor in the fund. In 2010, DE Shaw had lacklustre returns of less than 3%, compared to the industry average of 10%. The firm cut its fees earlier this year.

Citadel, the large Chicago fund run by Kenneth Griffin, has notched 11% gains through the first six months of the year, according to a person with knowledge of the firm. It’s a nice boost for a fund that is still trying to reach its high water mark, the asset level where it can charge performance fees once again. In 2008, the firm’s flagship fund lost about 50%. SAC Capital, the hedge fund run by billionaire Steven A Cohen, is also recording strong performance in its flagship portfolio this year, which is up 10%, according to an investor in the fund. The double-digit returns come amid scrutiny of SAC by federal authorities amid a broader insider trading investigation. The firm’s name has been raised by witnesses testifying at insider trading trial, and the Securities and Exchange Commission has been reviewing trades by the firm. SAC has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The $6-billion Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund is up 21% through June (not including fees), according to a person familiar with the fund. Started in 2005, the fund is one of the few portfolios open to investors at Renaissance Technologies, which manages $19 billion.

The gains mark a sustained turnaround for RIEF’s investors, who experienced losses in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Last year, the fund gained more than 16%, according to the person, who was not authorised to speak because the information is private.

Millennium Management’s Israel Englander is also having a pretty good year, with his main fund up about 6% on the year, according to investors.

The firm has taken in more than $2 billion from investors so far this year, according to sources familiar with the firm. It’s a massive chunk of money in a somewhat anaemic fundraising environment.

Source: Bloomberg  Financial Express

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