Man tops list of 50 biggest hedge funds

MAN Investments is Europe’s leading hedge fund, topping the list of an industry that has has bounced back as a whole in 2011.

Man’s hedge fund arm had assets under management (AUM) of $34.1bn (£20.9bn) as of 11 June, according to the Europe50 survey by The Hedge Fund Journal.

Man’s figures were boosted by the acquisition of GLG Partners for $1.5bn in 2010. In second place in the table was BlackRock whose assets hit $34bn.

Meanwhile Brevan Howard – which lost the top spot which it held in 2009 and 2010 – was in third place with $32.1bn. BlueCrest Capital retained fourth spot as its AUM soared by 31 per cent to £26.8bn. The futures giant Winton Capital rose 64 per cent to $22.4bn to bag fifth after a stunning year, the survey, sponsored by Newedge Prime Brokerage, revealed.

The success among the top 50 firms reflected an overall lift in 2011 with total assets under management up 26 per cent compared with 2010, to $374bn.

That is a record figure for the survey, topping the last bull market in 2008 when the top 50 were managing a total of $360bn.

The gains of the top five firms in 2011 took their combined AUM to $149.4bn, accounting for 40 per cent of the total funds managed by the top 50.

Author of the report Bill McIntosh said: “If it is true that hedge funds as a whole are back in business, it is the case that leading players are doing exceptionally well.

“The survey’s aggregate figures show the rude health of the European hedge fund industry.” Other companies in the Europe50 include Standard Life, previously unranked, which went to number nine in the table with AUM of $12.9bn. HSBC Global Asset management dropped from 17 to 28. with $4.1bn.

The report also concluded that hedge fund managers had taken fewer risks with investors’ money, and in doing so had served them well over the past year.

1. MAN INVESTMENTS
THE $34.1bn (£20.9bn) Man Investments, part of the world’s biggest alternative manager Man Group, led by Peter Clarke (right) dates back to 1983. Its five biggest funds each manage at least $1bn and cover strategies from managed futures to arbitrage. Star fund manager Tim Wong runs both its $2.5bn Man AHL Diversified fund and the newly-launched $2.3bn Nomura Global Trend fund, the hugely popular Asia-focused fund that has been credited with reviving Man Group’s profits since April.

2. BLACKROCK
BLACKROCK’S hedge fund operation, led by Laurence Fink (above) has moved up from third to second place this year as its fund managers grew assets to $34bn (£20.8bn) from $21.6bn in June 2010. Part of the world’s biggest money manager, its largest fund is the £1.34bn UK emerging companies hedge fund, while others invest in European equities, all on a long-short basis.

3. BREVAN HOWARD
BREVAN has slipped to third place from first last year, despite raising funds under management to $32.1bn (£19.6bn) from $31.5bn last June. The flagship fund is its $24.2bn Master Fund, a giant, multiple manager, macro fixed income and forex fund. Its newest addition is Credit Catalysts, now $1.8bn in size, which launched in 2009.

4. BLUECREST CAPITAL
THE dream team of Mike Platt (above) and Leda Braga has overseen a leap in BlueCrest’s funds from $20.5bn a year ago to $26.8bn today. Its headline funds include the global macro BlueCrest Capital International, and managed futures-focused BlueTrend, which each hold more than $8bn. Its diversified BlueCrest AllBlue fund manages another $5.4bn.

5. WINTON CAPITAL
WINTON, run by David Harding (above), holds $22.4bn assets, a big jump up from the $13.7bn held in June 2010. Unlike many peers, it makes most of its money from the $14.3bn it holds in managed accounts, segregated for individual investors. Its Winton Futures fund holds an estimated $7.8bn, but other notable funds Evolution and Octo are far smaller at just over $100m each.