The Hedge Fund Managers Who Are Winning And Losing Big Right Now

Hedge funds with long exposure to the equity market (generally long/short managers) got crushed in August.

Investors have faith they’ll bounce back later in the year, but that’s assuming they stay invested.¬†Cash levels are approaching 2008 levels, according to fund administrators who spoke to the Financial Times, and hedge fund managers are concerned that investors don’t have the stomach to take advantage of what might be a buying opportunity.

We rounded up the hedge fund managers that are standing out in the recent volatile environment, whether its for performing well or poorly.

Here’s what’s happening.

John Paulson

Fund: Paulson & Co

Invested in: Gold, Citigroup, Anadarko, Transocean, Hartford Financial are his top long holdings as of June 2011. Paulson has a lot of market exposure (to Bank of America, and HP for example) which is why his performance is so bad right now. Three of his big holdings: BAC, HP, and C are down between 30-40% YTD.

Performance: -36.5% YTD in the Advantage Plus portfolio; around -25.8% YTD in the Advantage portfolio

Stephen Peak

Fund: Henderson European Absolute Return

Invested in: Long/short equity

Returns: -32.46% YTD through August 5th in the Henderson European Absolute Return fund. A big reversal from last year when he was up 25%.

Paul Ruddock

Fund: Lansdowne

Invested in: Financials

Returns: -15.8% YTD through August 5th in the UK Equity fund

Glenn Dubin

Fund: Highbridge

Invested in: long Chinese industrials, which if you look at the index CHII, which is down 25% YTD, you'll see are down considerably this year because of economic tightening in China and the global slowdown (many are exporters) ; short consumer staples, which as a 'safe haven-like' sector is up about 20% YTD if you're looking at one of the indexes, the XLP.

Returns: Highbridge's long/short equity fund was -9.2% by the middle of August

William von Mueffling

Fund: Cantillon Global

Invested in: long-only equities. Oracle, Google, Coca-Cola, analogue Devices, and Colgate were Cantillon's largest long positions as of June 30th, according to the fund's most recent 13f

Returns: -6.25% by the middle of the month, but he's doing better YTD

Russell Clark

Fund: Horseman Capital

Invested in: Estee Lauder, McDonalds, Abercrombie and Fitch, Coca Cola, and Colgate were his top long holdings as of June 30th 2011.

Returns: -5.74% YTD

David Einhorn

Fund: Greenlight Capital

Invested in: Best Buy, Sprint and BP (all down between 11% and 27% YTD)

Returns: -5.3% YTD

Andres Halvorsen

Fund: Viking Global

Invested in: long/short equity. Amazon, Priceline, Time Warner, Invesco, and Estee Lauder were some of Halvorsen's biggest long holdings as of June 30th

Returns: -4% through the middle of August

Michael Hintz

Fund: CQS

Invested in: We're guessing he's probably shorting European bank stocks, betting against the debt of European companies in sectors such as cyclicals and telecoms, and utilities, because they would be hurt by austerity measures taken by indebted governments.

Returns: +1.64% in July, +4.71% YTD in CQS's Credit Long-Short fund.

Alan Howard

Fund: Brevan Howard

Invested in: long Treasuries (Treasury market was up 2.78% in August), and long volatility, both of which are performing well in the current economic environment because of recession fears, the Euro debt crisis, slow growth expectations, poor jobs reports, and the like

Performance: +11% YTD in the Master (macro) fund, which is managed by founder Alan Howard and 50+ portfolio managers; +8% through August

Pedro de Noronha

Fund: Noster Capital

Invested in: He says he's never been more defensively positioned than he is now, apart from early 2008.

Returns: +7.1% YTD

Ray Dalio

Fund: Bridgewater's flagship

Invested in: gold, Treasuries, the Swissie. The first two are doing well because they are 'safe havens.' The Swiss Franc is performing well (the index has it up 17% YTD) because their economic data is strong. Unemployment 3.5% last year. Economic growth beat expectations and came in at .9% in 2010. Debt to GDP ratio is only ~28% compared to the U.S.'s ~60%.

Returns: +15% YTD, according to Lyxor

Jim Simons

Fund: RenTec

Invested in: Equities (! an exception to the rule); Futures

Returns: Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund: +25.6% YTD; +5.4% in August; Renaissance Institutional Futures Fund: +9.2% YTD; +6.6% in August

Chase Coleman

Fund: Tiger Global

Invested in: Yandex, Liberty Global, (probably) Facebook, Netflix and Amazon were his top long holdings as of June 30 2011. But his is a long/short tech fund, so he probably had a number of profitable shorts on too.

Returns: around +30% YTD through July

(But 2011 hasn't been a totally winning year for the tech manager - he was a big investor in Longtop Financial, a Chinese stock disaster. And he's lost money since June, when he was up 34.5% YTD.)

John Thaler*

Fund: JAT Capital

Invested in: Sina Corp, Baidu, Priceline, Wynn Resorts, and Netflix are his top long holdings as of June 30 2011. But his is a long/short tech fund, so he probably had a number of profitable shorts on too.

Returns: +32.5% YTD through July

*Note: Earlier we mistakenly misspelled Thaler's last name as 'Taylor,' the name of another hedge fund manager.

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