elcome back to the fth annual snapshot of the top 50 European hedge fund managersranked by single manager assets undermanagement at the mid-way point of 2010. It is ourbelief that sourcing and publishing data about hedgefunds serves an important function for investorsand the asset management industry generally. Thewillingness of hedge fund managers to disclose suchbasic data has grown as investors have demandedmore transparency. Indeed,
The Hedge Fund Journal
got unprecedented cooperation from rms acrossEurope in compiling the 2010 survey.The year began positively for hedge funds with acontinued broad recovery in risk asset prices from thedownturn that began in mid-2008 and ran throughearly 2009. This provided a breather for many hedgefund rms to rebuild assets, restructure operatingcosts and rene approaches to portfolio and riskmanagement. The abrupt reversal in risk asset pricessince May has cost most hedge funds performancegains, assets and operating prots. Yet the totalassets under management for
rms stillrose 11% to $300 billion from $271 billion in our 2009survey, although this gure is well short of the $366billion recorded in early 2008.The survey’s aggregate gures evidence a gradualrecovery. Yet they also hide an essential truth: thevery biggest rms are drawing in new assets whilesmaller rms are struggling to retain assets. ThusBrevan Howard, which claimed the top spot forthe rst time in 2009 consolidated its number onestatus with an impressive 23% rise in AUM to $31.54billion. Man Investments, despite a 4% slip in AUM,retained its 2nd place rating with assets of $24.3billion while it continued to await regulatory approvalfor its proposed acquisition of GLG Partners, downto 7th from 4th with AUM of $12.1 billion. Amongthe largest hedge fund shops, the kudos for thebiggest growth in assets goes to BlueCrest CapitalManagement where AUM leapt 58% to $20.5 billion.One simple calculation illustrates clearly how thebiggest rms are pulling away from their smallerpeers. The top ve rms had mid-2010 aggregateAUM of $112 billion, a rise of almost 18% from thesame aggregate gure in early 2009. However, thecapital held by the 10 smallest rms in the survey,beginning with newcomer Tyrus Capital in 41st,declined to $14 billion from $15 billion in early 2009.Much anecdotal evidence suggests that the ightto size is having an even more pronounced impacton the hundreds of smaller rms that fall below thethreshold for inclusion in the
. What’s more,the tough environment for capital raising and the costof regulatory changes is likely to crimp the emergenceof new funds for some years to come.The liquidity, perceived brand value and high levels of infrastructure associated with the biggest hedge fundmanagers continue to attract investors. This has seena ight of capital from the smallest rms, somethingthat is shown by the decline in assets among thelower ranks in the
. In 2008, for example,Adelphi Capital needed almost $2.3 billion to be in the50th slot. A year later the amount Centaurus Capitalneeded for the nal position fell to $1.5 billion. Thisyear the nal ranking belongs to RAB Capital withAUM of $1.08 billion. As rms have lost assets theyears of expansion have given way to a prolongedperiod of downsizing. This trend has reached eventhe biggest rms as both Brevan Howard and ManInvestments restructured costs last year. Though thehedge fund industry looks to have stabilised in 2010,most rms are refraining from expanding into newareas or adding staff. Yet even in a tough environment for start-up hedgefunds a number of new entrants to the
show that innovation is alive. After being Europe’sbiggest launch in 2009, Tony Chedraoui’s event drivenvehicle Tyrus Capital may be just getting warmed upwith assets of $1.64 billion. It is a sign of the timesthat emerging market specialist Finisterre Capital joinsthe
, entering at 48th with an expansion inAUM to $1.2 billion. Two other rms, GLC and AltisPartners, join the
although neither rm is arecent launch. Indeed, GLC, a systematic trader, datesfrom 1992, but it has nearly doubled AUM to $1.59billion since the beginning of 2009. Now based inJersey, Altis Partners is in its ninth year of systematicmanaged futures trading and after a stellar 2008 hasgrown AUM to $1.4 billion. Several rms were closeto the threshold but declined to verify data, notablyspecial situations and distressed debt fund operatorFortelus Capital Management founded in 2007 by TimBabich.Mention has been made of Brevan Howard andBlueCrest Capital making substantial gains in AUM.However, the two biggest gainers in the survey areboth newcomers. Pharo Management debuts in 27thposition after it virtually trebled AUM to $3.2 billionon the back of the phenomenal performance of thePharo Macro fund which applies macro strategies inemerging markets. An even more spectacular debut isthat of COMAC Capital run by the former Soros globalmacro manager Colm O’Shea. Founded just over fouryears ago, COMAC enters the
at 16th withAUM of $5.5 billion.The progress of several rms up the ranking table alsodeserves comment. Swedish rm Brummer & Partnersvaulted into the top 10 in 9th position as its diversefunds offering (spanning managed futures, xedincome, macro and equities) nearly doubled AUM to$8.64 billion. Paris-based Dexia Asset Managementadvanced to 13th position by more than doublingAUM to $6.68 billion helped by growth in severalproduct lines, including UCITS funds. Geneva-basedJabre Capital Partners entered the top 20 with assetsrising to $5.2 billion as it, too, succeeded in attractinginvestors to both its offshore and growing stableof UCITS funds. Finally long/short equities rm TTInternational in London moved up 10 positions to 35thas it boosted AUM by 39% to $2.1 billion.
As with previous
lists, we have focusedon those rms which can be recognised as distinctlyEuropean businesses, usually those where theexecutive functions and head ofce are located inEurope. In some cases, the European subsidiaries of larger, global asset management operations can stillqualify on the strength of the money being managedout of their European ofces. The key criterion inthese latter instances is where the assets are beingmanaged from, not where they are located.Where the executive function is located in Europe,we have, for the sake of convenience, included all theassets managed by that group, regardless of wherethe portfolio manager is sitting. Where the executivefunction is outside Europe, it has just countedthe assets managed by European-based portfoliomanagement teams. In cases where groups manageboth hedge fund and non-hedge assets, we havestripped out the non-hedge component of the assetbase. In two cases – The Children’s Investment FundManagement and Trafalgar Asset Managers – we haveprovided an estimate of the money being managed. Inthese cases, we canvassed a number of data sourcesto compile the estimates.
The Hedge Fund Journal
would like to thank theNewedge Prime Brokerage Group for continuingto sponsor the
. We also congratulate allthose rms in the survey and give a special welcometo new entrants. We look forward to seeing mangersof all sizes, including those below the threshold,make their mark in the coming years. Certainly thetough conditions that envelop markets offer a readytesting ground for Europe’s leading asset managersto show their skill. We think the results will bearwatching.
The Europe 50
“As firms have lostassets the years of expansion have givenway to a prolongedperiod of downsizing”
IN ASSOCIATION WITH