Just a few years ago, Alan Howard brought his terminally ailing hedge fund home. Shorn of its Brevan and left only in Howard’s care by the apparently-not-especially-restorative-regardless-of-tax-advantages shores of Lake Geneva, the firm that once made Howard the richest hedge fund manager in Britain was at death’s door.

But, somewhat miraculously, Brevan Howard did not die. And re-transplanted to its native soil, and now breathing the especially free air of Blighty, it is not merely surviving but thriving.

The macro trader has returned about 100% this year in the hedge fund that he personally runs, according to people with knowledge of the matter….

Howard’s AH Master Fund was started in 2017 to make riskier bets in order to achieve high returns…. It’s not clear how exactly Howard’s fund achieved its triple-digit returns. The firm’s main hedge fund gained more than 18% in March to record its best-ever month. Returns, parts of which came from allocation to Howard, were driven by interest rate trading across directional, volatility and relative value strategies in a range of different markets, the firm wrote to clients in April.

Few if any hedge fund managers not named Bill Ackman have done as well from the coronavirus-induced market volatility as Howard, and many, many others have done a great deal worse. But some other big names are also putting up impressive numbers.

Saba Capital Management gained 36% in March, macro trader Said Haidar gained 25%, while famed oil trader Pierre Andurand saw one of his hedge funds surge almost 155%.

These men are not only unique in their ability to not merely persevere through the pandemic but to profit handsomely. They are also unique in that they are, well, men, and not women or robots.

Hedge funds run by women lost 3.5 per cent in the first four months of this year, as measured by Chicago-based data group HFR’s Women Access index. That beat a 5.5 per cent fall in its HFRI 500 Fund Weighted index, a broader measure of performance that incorporates both men and women-run funds…. Some industry insiders suggest female managers proved more adept at avoiding losses when developed stock markets began to tumble at the end of February — a notion in keeping with studies on how women perform in risk-management roles. Aberdeen Standard’s Mr Barlow, for instance, described limiting losses as “a key attribute that the female managers have been able to deliver”.

Volt Diversified Alpha Program was created in early 2017 by Jukka Harju, the former head of research at Lynx Asset Management. It only has about $30 million under management, but this year it’s delivered more than double the 10% return target it promised investors. Instead, they’ve received 24%. In March, when Covid-19 triggered a global selloff across markets, Volt had a positive return of 12%.... Volt is doing “something that is unique within machine learning,” Safvenblad said in an interview. “We take the power of fundamental models -- we believe in fundamentals, fundamentals matter -- we combine that power with machine learning.”

Alan Howard’s Hedge Fund Soars 100% in Virus-Fueled Chaos [Bloomberg]
Women-led hedge funds beat male rivals in coronavirus crisis [FT]
Hedge Fund in Sweden Trounces Return Goal With Rare AI Model [Bloomberg]

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