2015 was not exactly a flourishing year for hedge funds.
According to data from Hedge Fund Research Inc, hedge funds attracted a net $44 billion globally in assets during the year: representing its lowest levels since 2012.
The number is generally seen as reflective of a period of volatility which saw a series of unexpected economic events take their toll on the marketplace with a host of losses and declines for a wide number of funds. In many cases, performances were further hit by crowded, or even concentrated, trades, as well as ill-timed bets about the prospect of oil and energy prices continuing to slip.
Nevertheless, there were bright spots amid the gloom. Some managers were able to time their buys well, while in other cases many were able to file through illiquid securities and small caps in order to find opportunities. Many long-term holdings also paid off and in the case of some funds that performed poorly, some were suitably hedged or diversified so their investors were well-protected.
Now a special report on Hedge Fund Rankings, published by Bloomberg
, has identified the 50 best performing hedge funds with $1 billion or more in assets; while also offering a top 25 of the leading performers that have $250 million to $1 billion in assets.
In the $1 billion or more assets section, the top five performers were:
In the $250 million to $1 billion assets section, the top five performers were:
- Perceptive Life Sciences, managed by Joseph Edelman, assets of $1.5 billion. 2015 return of 51.8 per cent.
- Melvin Capital, managed by Gabriel Plotkin, assets of $1.5 billion. 2015 return of 47 per cent.
- Segantii Asia-Pacific Equity Multi Strategy, managed by Simon Sadler and Kurt Ersoy, assets of $1.5 billion. 2015 return of 29.6 per cent.
- Sylebra Capital Partners Master, managed by Jeff Fieler and Daniel Gibson, assets of $1.1 billion. 2015 return of 27 per cent.
- Teton Capital Partners, managed by Quincy Lee, assets of $1 billion. 2015 return of 23.5 per cent.
- Ping Exceptional Value, managed by Ping Jiang, assets of $255 million. 2015 return of 39.2 per cent.
- SPQ Asia Opportunities, managed by Lin Ho-Ping, assets of $300 million. 2015 return of 31.8 per cent.
- APS Asia-Pacific Long/Short (Cayman), managed by Kok-Hoi Wong, assets of $341 million. 2015 return of 29.9 per cent.
- Lansdowne European Equity, managed by David Craigen, assets of $556 million. 2015 return of 27.2 per cent.
- TT Long/Short Focus, managed by Vikram Kumer, assets of $420 million. 2015 return of 26.8 per cent.
Among the insights drawn from the results were that Asian hedge funds generally out performed competitors across North America and Europe in what was the most volatile 12 months for equities in China for a decade. In addition, it was a stock picker’s year – more than half of the top 50 funds were within the equity markets area. This was not limited to the USA either – Ping Capital, for example, made successful bets on Argentina.
In addition, multi-manager firms heavily featured in the results – it is expected that there will be a considerable increase in hiring across this sector during 2016.