Former Soros CIO Keith Anderson preps global macro fund

By Rob Copeland

Thu Nov 10, 2011


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BlackRock cofounder Anderson left Soros in June when the firm returned outside capital.


Keith Anderson, the former chief investment officer of Soros Fund Management and a cofounder of BlackRock, is quietly laying the groundwork for a new global macro fund set to launch early next year, according to people familiar with his plans.

The as-yet-unnamed fund, which will be initially funded largely by Anderson with more than $100 million, will be his first solo foray after a career with two of the industry's biggest names. He was a co-founder of BlackRock in 1988 and stayed with the firm for nearly two decades, rising to chief investment officer of global fixed income before leaving in late 2007. Though BlackRock told clients Anderson had resigned to start his own fund, Soros announced in January 2008 that he had hired him as the new chief investment officer of then-$25.5 billion Soros Fund Management.

Over the subsequent years, Soros credited Anderson for steering his fund through the tumult of the financial crisis with a prescient bet that U.K. interest rates would decline. Performance was mixed: the flagship Soros Quantum macro fund produced gains of about 8% in 2008, 29% in 2009 and 2.63% in 2010 and was down 6% for 2011 through June when Soros converted the shop to a family office and returned money to outside investors. By comparison, the HedgeFund Intelligence Global Macro Index was up 2.66% in 2008, 6.62% in 2009, 5.39% in 2010, and 0.19% for 2011 through June.

Under his oversight, the now-$812 million BlackRock Obsidian fund gained 29.77% in 2007, compared with an 8.95% rise for the AR Fixed Income Index ( historical data for the fund are available in the HedgeFund Intelligence Database).

Despite Anderson's fixed income background, his new fund will employ a variety of equity and credit instruments, a person familiar with the plans said. Anderson, who still has an office at Soros' Manhattan headquarters, is waiting for his separation agreement to run its course before launching his firm.

Anderson has kept a far lower profile than his former boss. He was honored earlier this year by Barbara Walters for supporting the Ronald McDonald house, a facility for families battling cancer. He also serves on the Council of Overseers for the Jones School of Business at Rice University, where he received his MBA in 1983.

Anderson was unavailable for comment. A Soros spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H