RAB bullish as clients come back

City A.M. Reporter
HEDGE fund firm RAB Capital yesterday confirmed clients are returning to its funds that were battered by the credit crisis, after it swung to a loss in 2009 and cut its dividend.

RAB, which specialises in energy and commodities funds and is also well-known for its failed bet on bank Northern Rock, yesterday reported a loss before tax and exceptional items of £6.9m, compared with a profit of £3.8m in 2008.

Assets under management recovered to $1.35bn at the end of 2009 from a low of $1.26bn at mid-year as clients returned to its funds in the second half. But that was still far below the more than $7bn assets under management in December 2007.

RAB’s inflows come as investors slowly return to the $1.6 trillion hedge fund industry, which suffered big losses in 2008 but recouped much of that last year. According to Hedge Fund Research, clients reinvested a net $13.8bn into hedge funds in the fourth quarter.

“We’re seeing generally a lot more interest from investors,” RAB chief executive Stephen Couttie said. He added that assets had changed little since December, as client inflows balanced out previously demanded outflows.