Looking back on BlackRock’s black box

By Rob Copeland

Wed Oct 3, 2012

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AR also revisits some quants that were killing it.


One year ago
»» BlackRock opened up its black box for a cover story on its $29 billion in U.S. single manager hedge fund assets. "Much of the world, including our own clients, is unaware that we have one of the largest alternative capabilities in the world," said Matt Botein, head of BlackRock Alternative Investors.

The past year has seen some shrinkage, as the powerhouse now manages $25.5 billion in hedge funds, according to the latest Billion Dollar Club rankings. Its first U.S. equity hedge fund was quietly scuttled after chief equity strategy Bob Doll retired this year, and the former co-head of its securitized products division departed to start his own fund. This summer BlackRock started marketing the EquityONE fund, a market neutral strategy it incubated in February.

A BlackRock spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

See also: Brazil’s Vinci Partners, with former BlackRock exec as CEO, to incubate U.S. managers

»» Quant hedge funds were racking up significant profits. The Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund International had gained 19.28% through the end of August (full data here), while the Stratus Fund, managed by the Paris-based Capital Fund Management, gained 12.27% (full data here).

This year, although equity funds on net have been some of the worst-performing in the Absolute Return database, some quantitative funds have continued to buck the trend. The aforementioned Renaissance strategy is up 8.67% through the end of August, and QIM’s Quantitative Global Program is up 7.76% (full data here). Stratus had gained 0.17% for the year through September 21, according to figures from HSBC Private Bank.

By comparison, the Absolute Return Composite Index has returned 4.13% through August.

See also: The quant quandary

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H