It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the hedge fund manager who turned a 4,000% return on the pandemic-induced market swings we’ve all enjoyed so over the past couple of months uses goats to cut the grass, doesn’t trust central banks and makes his own cheese. But Mark Spitznagel’s not the only one riding this long tail all the way to the bank (if it’s open) many times over, and his fellow black swan feasters aren’t all acolytes of Ayn Rand and her namesakes, as one former PIMCO executive (nope, not that one, or that one, or that one) has shown.

LongTail Alpha’s OneTail Hedgehog Fund II had a return on invested premium of 929% last month as the S&P 500 dropped more than 12%, according to an April 3 letter to clients obtained by Bloomberg. Including client cash held in reserve, the fund returned 157% in March and 400% since its inception Feb. 1…. “ Last month we saw what I believe were the most illiquid markets across all asset classes in my 30-year career as a derivatives markets investor,” Vineer Bhansali, who founded LongTail Alpha in 2015 after 16 years at Pimco, wrote in the letter.

Of course, knowing all 650,000 words of Atlas Shrugged by heart does not guarantee success in this environment, as the computer monitors and employees of AQR Capital are not doubt finding to their detriment at the moment.

Asness’ AQR Capital — which managed $186 billion at the end of 2019 — has updated its Web site to reflect that its assets under management as of March 31 now stand at $143 billion…. Returns have worsened this year for some of Asness’ funds as the coronavirus pandemic batters the economy and the stock market, according to AQR’s Web site.

The firm’s Multi-Strategy Alternative fund, for example, is down 22 percent this year following declines of 10 percent in 2019. Its Small-Cap Multi-Style fund, which was up 20 percent last year, is now down 29 percent.

Another Tail Risk Hedge Fund Had Eye-Popping March Returns [Bloomberg]
Hedge Fund Star Behind 4,000% Coronavirus Return Peers Into Crystal Ball [WSJ]
Billionaire Cliff Asness’ hedge fund AQR hit with $43B COVID-19 losses [Thornton/N.Y. Post]