Wessex boys shut funds as hedgie rout continues

WESSEX Asset Management is closing three hedge funds, after a drop in assets under management and double-digit losses in 2011.

The closure lengthens the list of hedge funds shutting down this year as the market turmoil keeps investors on the sidelines, making it tough for managers to raise assets.

Assets of the long/short equity hedge fund Wessex Asia-Pacific Fund, which once managed more than $270m, had dropped to $11m. The fund’s net asset value had slumped about 27 per cent in 2011 to October, the letter showed. Its gold hedge fund, which had started trading in 2007 with more than $50m of committed capital, was down 37 per cent this year and the asset had dropped to $3m.

The natural resources fund, which managed peak assets of more than $330m in 2008, was down to $6m and had lost nearly 34 per cent in the first 10 months of 2011.

Peter Chesterfield and Tim Weir founded Wessex in October 1999.