Founder, Cresco, Copenhagen
ttrup is one hedge fund manager staying put in his native Copenhagen, in spite of Europe’s highest income tax rate at 60%! He has spent his entire career in Scandinavia, spanning local blue chip firms Danske Capital, Tryg-Baltica Insurance, Alfred Berg Asset Management, and Gregersen and Partners. The Cresco fund – seeded by Lord Jacob Rothschild’s family office and related entities with $45 million, after Sascha Klamp identified Uttrup –takes bold and aggressive positions both at the stock level and directionally. U
Founder, Attara, London
he once mighty Atticus fund has returned substantial amounts of capital to investors, but its erstwhile European fund manager, David Slager, has a sufficient personal following to continue running $1 bn in his own fund, Attara. Slager had reportedly been paid $450 million in 2007 when Nat Rothschild was said to have received $250 million. Slager admitted that he was disappointed with the 2008 performance when all of the Atticus funds experienced losses. Historically Atticus had been in some T
Founder, Althea, London
istory graduate Harpel spent 11 years with power of veto over an $800 million emerging markets portfolio at Tudor. The fully portable track record demonstrated consistently better downside control than the long only indices. He left Tudor before they shut down their dedicated EM fund, and launched Althea in December 2009 with $100 million of which $50 million came from Lord Jacob Rothschild. Harpel is a seasoned investor whose bottom-up stock picking is complemented by H
Portfolio Manager, Lansdowne Partners, London
eter Davies co-manages the flagship Lansdowne UK Equity fund, which has often been closed to new investors, but was briefly open in 2009. The fund has profitably shorted financial stocks, including Northern Rock, during the credit crisis, and adroitly reversed to a more constructive stance in 2009, when it also did well out of commodity plays that had offset short profits in 2008, generating a flat year. The fund has delivered annualised returns of over 19% since inception in 2001. Launch P
Founder, Fortelus Capital Management, London
im Babich’s habit of over-achievement started at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained three degrees in four and a half years: bachelors in finance and engineering, as well as an MBA. His first distressed debt job was as a day one employee at US hedge fund giant Silverpoint, where he was rapidly charged with diversifying it into the European credit space and establishing a London presence. In 2007 Babich set up Fortelus, to take advantage of T
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Gross exposure can exceed 300% and net exposure can be up to 100%. Very volatile sectors, such as solar and shipping, are sometimes big winners, and big losers. This is an unashamedly opinionated fund that pays no attention to peers or benchmarks. The maverick style is reflected in the numbers: up 49% in 2008 after losing 17% in the second half of 2007 having launched in May, and making the same amount in 2009. So far in 2010 Uttrup has been on the right side of the Chinese growth story, with winning positions including iron ore producers.
of the same activist trades as The Children’s Investment Fund, such as taking large stakes in German stock exchange Deutsche Boerse. Going forward Attara is now far smaller than the $20 billion AUM that Atticus had at its peak and it appears to be taking a more diversified approach by geography and industry. In spite of the 2008 draw-down, the average annualised performance is still approaching 20% over the past five years, which is no mean feat. Dutchman Slager studied with Rothschild at Oxford University.
a strong appreciation of the macro environment. This means he actively trades around core positions and sometimes takes views on currencies. When contrasted with the Western world’s structural headwinds, Harpel believes certain emerging markets will over time offer fertile grounds for alpha generation. The book is very liquid with 75% of fund holdings representing under one day of average volume. The fund has sixty days notice with no locks or gates.
Investors are now sitting on profits of more than 366%. Supermarket Tesco was a key holding where Davies spotted the growth potential of the Asian and Eastern European expansion. More recently Lansdowne is understood to hold significant stakes in UK banks. Elsewhere in the financial sector, Lansdowne has also disclosed a small short position in the Prudential insurance company. Davies is one of several managers at Lansdowne with a first class honours degree from Oxford; his was in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
opportunities in Europe’s nascent distressed debt market, which is much less developed and sophisticated than its US counterpart. AUM is over $900 million and net annualised performance since launch in 2007 has been over 20%. While many distressed funds only take long positions, Fortelus did successfully short a number of troubled businesses in 2008. Babich has been known to take an activist stance in relation to distressed investments and corporate governance concerns.