Strictly speaking, this year doesn’t appear to be any worse for hedge funds than any other recent year. For the tenth in a row, they’re probably going to underperform the S&P 500. For the third in a row, more of them are likely to die than be born. Inflows are stagnant, but they have been since 2016. It’s a depressing picture, and all the more so given those giddy hopeful days in the wake of President Trump’s election, but such submediocrity has become the new normal. Just ask Steve Cohen.
Still, even if hedge funds aren’t dying off at a particularly faster rate than in previous years, the ones that are have been particularly notable in 2018. T. Boone Pickens decided to hang up his hedge fundin’ spurs after 700 years in the business. Leon Cooperman, too. Highfields Capital Management’s key-throwing days are also over. Izzy Englander decided to euthanize pioneering statistical arbitrage shop Prediction Co., and just this week former Lehman Brothers President Bart McDade’s hedge fund career ended in pretty much the same way his banking career did. And now former GLG Partners star trader and fine-payer Philippe Jabre has joined them in deciding that this hedge fund thing isn’t for him after all.
Geneva-based Jabre Capital Partners SA is returning client money in the three funds personally managed by Jabre, said Mark Cecil, one of the firm’s founding partners….
“In previous periods, weakness created opportunities but as we survey the outlook for 2019, we are concerned that we don’t see those opportunities,” Jabre wrote in the letter. “Both the political and economic outlooks remain confused and without clear direction.”