Saba Capital, the hedge fund run by legendary credit trader Boaz Weinstein, is among the best-performing funds this year.
Saba Capital Offshore, which has $1.47 billion in assets under management, was last up 11.6% through March 24, performance data compiled by HSBC shows.
Saba employs a credit relative-value strategy. Basically, they’re looking at relationships between the credit and the equity and they’re also long volatility.
Saba benefited when markets went down and volatility went up in January and early February. In March, however, there was a really sharp bounce, and now volatility has come down again and credit spreads are low again.
As a result, Saba lost 1.77% in March, the HSBC data shows.
Even with the market turnaround, Saba has managed to maintain most of its gains. Some funds on the HSBC ranking had been up for the year, and are now in negative territory.
To put the performance in perspective, the average credit fund that HSBC tracks has fallen 1.99% this year. If you look at the credit fund data compiled by HSBC, many high-flying credit funds are down in 2016 following poor performance in 2015.
Saba’s had some challenging years lately, with the fund falling in 2014, 2013, and 2012.
During those years, there was very little volatility, making it a tough environment for funds with this sort of strategy. It was the opposite case for funds that were long-biased when the market had been ripping during those years.
In 2015, Saba ended the year up a respectable 3.36%, while many hedge funds suffered negative performance.
At its peak, Weinstein managed around $5.5 billion. Assets under management have fallen in recent years due to redemptions.
Before founding Saba in 2009, Weinstein was the co-head of credit trading at Deutsche Bank. In 2011, he made headlines for being the trader who took the other side of JPMorgan’s disastrous “London Whale” trade.