We’ve pointed out from time to time that when a CTA grows bigger, its monthly gains and losses often grow smaller. CTAs don’t really come any bigger than Winton, and they’ve definitely been a prime example of this trend:
Disclaimer: past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.
Well as it turns out, not everyone is excited about the lower volatility, lower risk/return version of the Winton they once knew. Finalternatives reports:
Clients yanked $1 billion from Winton Capital Management last year, which was also the quantitative hedge fund’s second down year in 15. The London-based firm’s assets under management fell from US$29 billion to US$26 billion during the last eight months of 2012; about one-third of the decline was due to redemptions, Reuters reports.
Winton’s flagship lost 3.5% last year. But that decline is not what’s behind the withdrawals; instead, according toReuters, some investors are not happy with firm founder David Harding’s decision to cut risk during the financial crisis.
“That decision not to target high levels of risk appears to still resonate well with institutional and pension fund investors,” a Winton spokesman said.
We have a Winton spokesman (re)confirming what we’ve known for a while – that Winton’s risk/return levels are lower. But it doesn’t quite answer the question that lies behind it: Was Winton’s decision not to target high levels of risk one that they made in order to appeal to those institutional and pension fund managers, or was it an unavoidable consequence of growing so large? The cause and effect here may unclear, but we’re pretty sure this article has identified a surefire sign that you’ve really made it: when you can react to news of $1 billion in withdrawals with little more than a shrug.
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