UK hedgie wins crown as best trader last year

Michael Bow
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A BOUTIQUE London-based hedge fund has stolen the crown from its larger Mayfair rivals to emerge as the best performing fund in Europe and one of the top five in the world, a list out today shows.

Clareville Capital, the so-called celebrity hedge fund led by trader David Yarrow, delivered investors a 54.1 per cent return from its flagship fund in the first ten months of last year, beating off competition from Lansdowne Partners and The Children’s Investment fund (TCI) to top the list.

On a global basis Clareville’s fund, called Pegasus, was the fifth best mid-sized fund, according to the list by Bloomberg.

Pegasus is managed by seasoned traders Yarrow and Angus Donaldson and is smaller than its hedge fund rivals, managing $291m for an exclusive club of around 200 wealthy investors. Lansdowne’s top performing fund housed $1.5bn while TCI ran $7.3bn.

Donaldson told City A.M. yesterday: “We’re not smug about this or arrogant. It just provides a degree of validation. It’s good for our investors that they’re benefiting from what we do.”

Donaldson added that big bets on the UK had helped propel the fund, with a focus on airline stocks such as EasyJet – which rose 65 per cent last year – driving the increase.

Investments in Rightmove, Dixons, and Booker group also helped the firm climb.

While the best performing larger funds kept pace with their smaller rivals last year, the list will provide ammunition for critics who say large funds are too big to match the returns from smaller ventures. The world’s biggest and most profitable hedge fund Bridgewater Associates did not have any funds in the list. It returned six per cent last year.