Josh Fink may be proof that investing chops can’t be genetically inherited.At a cursory glance, the son of famed money manager and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink seemed to have the foundations set for a successful career in finance and investing—a degree from UPenn, work experience at Morgan Stanley, Tiger Management and Tiger cub fund Argonaut Capital Management, according to a recent piece on Fink’s career by hedge fund magazine AR’s Rob Copeland.
But when you look at the performance of his hedge fund, Enso Capital Management—which Fink started in 2002 with $44 million under management—the opinion on Fink’s success and investing talent could be reversed.
In 2011, Enso lost 60.5% in 2011—which was, admittedly, a terrible year, but it is also down 7% as of April this year, at a time when most of its peers in global equity funds were turning a profit, according to AR data. Since its inception, the fund has returned 2.7% annualized, compared to the MSCI World Index, which has had annualized returns of 5.84%.
What’s keeping Fink going? Well, his father, for one. Despite the fact that Larry Fink advised his son against starting his fund, his name may very well be helping his son stay afloat. Sources told AR that Fink frequently dropped his father’s name and mentioned that his father was a seed investor in his fund during pitches to potential investors.
AR’s profile of Fink and Enso Capital traces its first few years, where the fund had unremarkable returns by investing in myriad stocks, to a disastrous 2008 and 2009, to making a comeback in 2010, before things took a turn of the worse in 2011 again.
At its peak, Enso had AUM of $700 million, that has dropped to $44 million these days, according to AR.