Some Strange Trends Among 2017 Hedge Fund Returns

From one perspective, there is an odd disparity in the force. Hedge fund returns in certain categories are experiencing fat tail correlation and return extremes when compared to players inside a particular category as well as compared to the category average itself. No better can this be seen than in the most formulaic of all hedge fund strategies, managed futures. Meanwhile, in the Long / Short category, a familiar name continues to have a strong year.


Cantab’s multi-strategy approach is finding the market environment conducive to outsized returns

During a year when the HSBC Hedge Weekly performance ranking shows the Managed Futures / Systematic category up a lethargic 1.34% — and the SG CTA Index is down 0.11% — Cambridge, England-based Cantab Capital Partners is up 23.89% in the $1.9 billion Aristarchus fund. Dr. Ewan Kirk, the fund’s founder and chief investment officer, previously managed quantitative strategies for Goldman Sachs in Europe. The year to date performance far outpaces the fund’s average annual return of 7.55% on 17.86% standard deviation. The fund delivered 39.31% to investors in 2014 but lost 27.65% in 2013.

Cantab is up along with the $1.2 billion Systematic Alternative Markets, which is showing gains of 17.50% year to date. The $376 million Winton Evolution Fund and the $9.6 billion Winton Fund, both run by David Harding, are up 8.19% and 6.41% respectively.

The $837 million Two Sigma Compass Cayman Fund, meanwhile, is off 4.06% as of October 31. If it ends in the red  it will be a rare losing year for the standout performer with 13.05% average annual return and low 8.39% volatility.

Some of the biggest losers in the category include the $678 million short-term mean reversion trader Roy G. Niederhoffer Diversified Offshore Fund, down 14.23% as of November 15. The SG Short Term Trader’s index, meanwhile, is down 8.11% year to date. Mark Malek’s $119 million Conquest Macro Fund is down 27.38%, the worst in the category.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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