AfricaHedge Awards 2008

Venue: The Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Dates: Tuesday, 17 February 2009 - Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Join us on February 17 to acknowledge those funds that have held up well in the global storm delivering consistent risk-adjusted returns to investors.

Big Rock leads the way amongst Africa's best-performing funds
South African market neutral fund Big Rock took home the prestigious Fund of the Year award at the third annual AfricaHedge awards on the evening of February 17, which recognised the best risk-adjusted performance of the region's hedge funds at a glittering gala dinner held at the Westin Grand Arabella Quays in the Cape Town City bowl.
The awards were hosted by HedgeFund Intelligence, publishers of AfricaHedge, EuroHedge, AsiaHedge, InvestHedge and Absolute Return.
Managed by Lars Piepke and his team in Auckland, New Zealand, and Cape Town, Big Rock is one of the longest running hedge funds in the country, with a record stretching back to 1999. Despite wildly unpredictable markets, it achieved a strong risk-adjusted return in 2008 on a sizeable asset pool. 
The award for Long-Term Performance, introduced for the first time this year in recognition of the maturing industry and judged over three years amongst funds with a minimum $50 million in assets, went to Oryx, a long/short equity strategy, managed by Heiko van Wyngaarden and his team.
In South African equity, one of the most keenly watched categories, kudos went to Fairtree Long/Short Equity, managed by Andre Malan and Kobus Nel.
Abante Statistical Arbitrage took the honours in the closely fought Market Neutral and Quantitative category. It was a particularly strong year in this category - of the six funds nominated, all produced strong risk-adjusted returns easily in the double digits.
The Investec Asset Management Fixed Income, managed by Malcolm Charles, won the award for best fixed income fund, while in the multi-strategy category, the winner was Genesis, managed by Stephen van Schoor and Steve Murefu.
The Black Rock Middle East and North Africa Opportunities Fund led the way in the Pan-Africa and MENA category, in an area where most other contenders were well into negative territory for the period.
FRAIM ZAR Diversified, lead managed by Bradley Anthony, was a strong victor in the fund of funds category, despite some very credible competitors in the space, particularly amongst specialist fixed income portfolios.
New Fund of the Year was another hotly contested area, with the decision ultimately taken to honour two managers from different strategies, given the exceptional circumstances across asset classes in 2008. The dual winners were Heriot African Trade Finance, a sub-Saharan trade finance portfolio advised by Heriot Commodity and Trade Finance, and the Solario Fund, a long/short South African equity portfolio managed by Jacques Pretorius and Walker Naude in Johannesburg.
Amongst specialist strategies, CreditSmith Event Driven earned the glory while the Futures award went to Trendline, managed by Renault Kay and Andy Pfaff.