When it comes to apportioning responsibility for their returns, most hedge funds are Donald Trump: Due all the credit for the good times, and none for the bad times. There are exceptions, but they’re relatively few and far between. Arrowgrass Capital Partners is not among them.
The 11-year-old firm is closing up shop. Why, you might ask? Well, the proximate cause is another billion dollars in redemption requests, on top of the roughly $6 billion that’s disappeared in the last two years. This, however, only begs the question: What’s the cause of the cause? Is it the last three-and-a-half years’ worth of crummy returns? The departure of its event-driven head and the attendant legal drama surrounding it? The lasting stink of Deutsche Bank, from whence Arrowgrass’ founders came?
The answer, it seems, is sort of the first one, albeit not in any serious responsibility-taking sort of way.
Arrowgrass, however, blamed central bank policies for its demise.
“Ten years into the current cycle, as we observe global central banks initiating a new round of quantitative easing, we cannot with any reasonable conviction identify a near-term catalyst that would signal the end of the current cycle,” Nick Niell, one of the firm’s founders, wrote in the letter.
The hedge fund’s investing strategies were optimized to operate through a normal business cycle of five to seven years, he said.
That’s right: The world’s central banks failed to take note of this one particular hedge fund’s reliance on a normal business cycle, and it is they—and not the architects of those strategies, who put them in place at the beginning of the current business cycle—who are to blame for Arrowgrass’ death. We think you’ll agree that makes total sense.