Hedge fund BlueCrest Capital Management has ditched all of its customers

Jessica Morris
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BlueCrest's customers were told to pack their bags (Source: Getty)

What was once one of Europe's biggest hedge funds is returning money provided by its investors, amid declining fees, rising costs and lacklustre performance.

Founder Michael Platt's decision to close BlueCrest Capital Management, which had $8bn (£5.3bn) under management, will enable him to look after the money of the firm's partners and employees.

The shock move to close the 15-year old fund comes in the wake of capital outflows, as well as disappointing returns compared to some of its competitors. Other hedge fund titans such as George Soros and Julian Robertson have made similar moves, indicating industry-wide difficulties.

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"We will be stronger and more flexible under our new business model, and see exciting opportunities to grow significantly in terms of numbers of trading teams and assets under management," Platt said.

Antony Lawler, head of portfolio management at hedge fund investor GAM, said the move was a "bit surprising, in that [Platt is] still running a sizeable business, but he's had a large amount of redemptions from having dull performance, arguably since 2010 ... so it's quite a rational decision for him to focus on managing his own money without investor constraints".

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