Stephen Jen, “one of the world’s best known foreign exchange strategists,” according to the FT, has left $2 billion commodities hedge fund BlueGold, to start his own firm.Jen was the head of global currency research at Morgan Stanley before he decamped to BlueGold in 2009.
His new hedge fund, called SLJ Macro Partners, will primarily trade currencies, in addition to “bets in commodities, equities and fixed income in order to reduce portfolio volatility” the FT said.
It’s already been seeded, with its major fundraising to start once it gets FSA approval. Jen wants “capitalise on growing demand for greater FX hedging from large fund managers amid an increasingly volatile macroeconomic environment.”
At BlueGold, Jen was managing director of macroeconomics and currencies. Before his jump into the hedge domain, he was the chief global forex and emerging-market desk strategist at Morgan Stanley; he joined the bank in 1996 after work with the IMF.
Jen, who was born in Taiwan, earned a PhD from MIT, where he studied under both Paul Krugman and Ben Bernanke, according to Bloomberg.
He’s known for “insightful, often contrarian opinions that frequently jar with those of his peers,” and “bullish views on the US dollar and bearish views on the future of the Eurozone,” the FT writes.
“He has an ability to separate trend from noise and keep a level head in a business that can cause people a lot of distractions. He’s not stuck with traditional analysis, and he’s willing to come up with independent thoughts,” a former Tiger portfolio manager told Bloomberg when Jen left Morgan Stanley.
One of those independent thoughts is his “dollar-smile” theory, which says that the greenback has a convex relationship to American economic growth, with the dollar gaining when the economy is slumping badly or surging.
In addition to the regular trading game, SLJ Macro Partners “will also offer currency overlay services to large institutional investors… Only a handful of firms – including the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates – currently provide such overlay services.”