INNOVATION is at the heart of the City, and nobody demonstrates it better than the top hedge funds and private equity houses. Our varied shortlist makes clear the chutzpah and sheer-brain power needed to become a leader in this toughest of sectors. And it also makes the clear the massive rewards awaiting the brightest and best.
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Co-founded by John Hartz (above) and Simon Turner, the private equity house specialises in mid-level businesses, and has a special fondness for those which are family or founder-owned. Small it might be, compared to others on this list, managing about £340m of funds, but it is a model of how a private equity firm should be run – sensitive to the owners and giving fantastic growth to the firms that it invests in.
The announcement in August of the merger of these two hedge funds – both founded by former Goldman Sachs traders, TPG by Dinaker Singh (above) and Montrica by Andrew Metcalf – created a single mega-fund with $9bn under management. True, that is far less than they managed at their peaks, but at a time when investors are looking to larger funds the tie-up looks like a shrewd tactic that should attract more funds.
When Man took over GLG earlier this year, the deal created the world’s biggest hedge fund management business. Both suffered in the downturn, and GLG was hit by the departure of star manager Greg Coffey in 2008. But hedge fund-watchers generally applauded the deal – GLG’s brains are a good fit for Man’s brawn, it was said. Oh, and the combined group has $63bn under management.
Chief executive is Peter Clarke (above).
Self-made billionaire Louis Bacon’s hedge fund Moore Capital, based in Mayfair’s Curzon Street, is one of the most spectacular successes anywhere. A macro-trader famed for his high and consistent returns – 30 per cent is not unknown – Bacon’s personal fortune is said to have increased by £450m in the past year. He enjoys his money, too, and owns two polo fields and a grouse moor. Moore’s reputation is so great that it even attracted Greg Coffey when he left GLG, tempting him to join rather than set up his own fund.
Founded by David Harding, Winton Capital prides itself on its cerebral approach – it even sponsors a chess problem-solving competition. Since its launch in 1997, the firm has applied “advanced scientific techniques” to trading, going so far as to claim that “the financial markets are our laboratory”. It is a leader in the field of algorithmic trading that over the past 13 years has grown to 180 people, including over 100 researchers based in Oxford, Cambridge, London and Hong Kong. It has $13bn under management.