IT bull that shorts Ocado

Marion Dakers
BLUE Ridge Capital, the hedge fund thought to have lost £40m after betting against Ocado, is no stranger to internet-based businesses: its two biggest long positions in the US are online giants Amazon and Apple, according to an SEC filing last week.

The fund was set up by former Tiger Management president John Griffin in 1996, and has gone on to make a fortune shorting everything from Legal & General to Anglo-Irish Bank.

Griffin, one of the more successful “Tiger Cubs” to strike out on his own after working for Julian Robertson’s Tiger hedge fund, made a reported $625m in 2007 to make him the ninth best-paid hedge fund manager in Alpha magazine’s rich list.

While the fund’s positions are generally closely guarded, occasional regulatory filings have revealed shorts against property firms Liberty, Hammerson and Land Securities in 2009, as well as a bet against Anglo-Irish that was revealed in October 2008 – just three months before the bank was nationalised.

Griffin is adjunct professor of finance at Columbia Business School and a visiting professor at the University of Virginia, as well as the founder of Blue Ridge Foundation New York, which supports charitable start-ups.

Elinor Carter Brooks is the New York-based Blue Ridge fund manager thought to have made the ill-fated bet against Ocado.