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Equity strategy excels in 2015
Pictured Christian Dalban, Head of Discretionary Equities

BlueCrest, the $9 billion asset manager, launched a new discretionary equities strategy in July 2013, just after the ‘taper tantrum’. BlueCrest had previously exited the discretionary equities trading space in 2007 but co-founder Michael Platt wanted to revisit the asset class. Platt and BlueCrest management decided to hire their former J.P. Morgan colleague, Christian Dalban, to run the strategy as head of discretionary equities. With BlueCrest providing about $700 million of seed capital for Dalban and his team to manage in the first year, Dalban swiftly started “building the infrastructure, hiring the teams and growing the business.”

Since then the strategy has met its targets: annualizing in low double digits with a mid single-digit volatility, producing a strong Sharpe ratio. Most strikingly, the strategy has already returned approximately 10% net this year, including strong performance in recent months. So far, this has been a challenging year in the discretionary equity space that has seen some of the most venerable and legendary equity hedge fund managers report double-digit losses. Dalban’s strategy, on the other hand, is well ahead of possible benchmarks, which could include multi-strategy or equity market-neutral hedge funds or indices, as well as some equity longshort funds or event-driven funds; though many of these are running a high level of equity beta that, arguably, prevents them from being appropriate comparisons. Dalban does not expect his strategy to be more than 20% net long or net short, on a cash or beta-adjusted basis, and nor does it envisage managers generating more than 20% of returns from factor exposures.

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About The Hedge Fund Journal

INFORMING THE HEDGE FUND COMMUNITY With access to some of the industry’s biggest names and an astute and talented group of writers and contributors, The Hedge Fund Journal has established itself as a trusted source of information on the hedge fund industry. Highlights of Issue 108: BlueCrest - Equity strategy excels in 2015 Volatility & Uncertainty to Define 2016 - Major challenges facing market participants On Origins of Alpha - Is the stock market a quasi Ponzi scheme? InfraHedge - The largest MAP-infrastructure provider