This week the big news from the huge ~$65 billion UK hedge fund Man Group was that they were down big in their publicly-traded hedge fund group after a drop in sales, redemptions and poor hedge fund performance.While some of the numbers coming out of a couple of their portfolios don’t look good:
- GLG Emerging Markets fund, managed by Bart Turtelboom and Karim Abdel-Motaal: down 13.3% in July and August
- The GLG European Opportunity Fund, managed by Markus Merz: down 13.5% in July and August
Some of them look fine:
- [Man] AHL: up 6.5% during July and August, up 7.7% in the five months to the end of August
- Galia Velimukhametova’s GLG European Distressed: up 7.1%
- Pierre Lagrange’s GLG European Long Short fund: up 5.9%
- GLG Market Neutral fund, managed by Steve Roth: up 5.6%
And there’s one portfolio that’s doing well at GLG: Driss Ben-Brahim’s Atlas Macro Fund. It was up around 6% in July and August, according to a release the group sent yesterday (download the PDF). (We emailed Man Group for comment about their recent performance, which has also been good, up around 16% in the last 2 months. They haven’t gotten back to us about that yet. It’s been said that he trades currencies, sovereign bonds, interest rates.)
So in sum, GLG’s performance looks good, but they’ve seen $1.9 billion in redemptions not in their long-only funds ($1.1 billion in their long-only funds). Those are doing well generally. That might suggest that more hedge fund redemptions are coming. Perhaps that’s why their stock was hammered when the news came out.
This news is also interesting because it’s about Driss Ben-Brahim, a well-known trading rockstar. The details that the media have reported about him imply that the people around him gush with a humorous amount of praise:
- Goldman Sachs loved him (he made over $100 million in bonuses while working there – £30 million in 2004 and £50 million in 2006)
- The Libyans loved him (“We were in awe of Driss,” a former Libyan Investment Authority executive told the WSJ. “He was like a rock star…while we were making peanuts. We felt honored by his presence.”)
- The Times reported that he is said to have one of the sharpest minds in the City and is “always laughing”, according to colleagues at Goldman Sachs.
He’s one of those people who make making a lot of people a lot of money look like a crazy good time.
Looks like he’s still at it!
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