Alpha's Hedge Fund Rankings 2009 ~ market folly

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Alpha's Hedge Fund Rankings 2009

Alpha is out with their annual hedge fund rankings and they've compiled a list of the top 100 hedge funds by assets and the combined hedge funds on the list totaled $1.03 trillion in assets. Ray Dalio's Bridgewater Associates is the top of the pack with $38.6 billion under management. In 2008, they were the #2 fund on the list and they have since passed JP Morgan to garner the top spot. (JP Morgan notably lost ground due to sluggish performance & redemptions at their Highbridge Capital unit). Although we haven't covered Bridgewater's portfolio, we've covered some of Ray's market thoughts previously. Their Pure Alpha fund finished up 8.7% for 2008. Previously, we've also covered Alpha's 2008 rankings in depth if you wish to compare years.

For this year's rankings, they slightly changed the way they indexed their rankings by using firm and fund assets from January 1st, rather than the December 31st data they had previously used. In order to qualify for the top 100 hedge funds in the world, a firm needed at least $4 billion to be considered. In 2008, this threshold was around $6.25 billion. Clearly the decrease in assets under management overall reflects the severity of the market in 2008.

Top 10 for 2009

Here are the top 10 hedge funds, with links leading to that specific fund's portfolio holdings:

  1. Bridgewater Associates (Ray Dalio) with $38,600 (in millions)
  2. JPMorgan with $32,893 (in millions)
  3. Paulson & Co (John Paulson) with $29,000 (in millions)
  4. D.E. Shaw & Co (David E Shaw) with $28,600 (in millions)
  5. Brevan Howard Asset Management with $26,840 (in millions)
  6. Man Investments with $24,400 (in millions)
  7. Och-Ziff Capital Management with $22,100 (in millions)
  8. Soros Fund Management (George Soros) with $21,000 (in millions)
  9. Goldman Sachs with $20,585 (in millions)
  10. Tie: Farallon Capital Management (Thomas Steyer) & Renaissance Technologies (Jim Simons) both with $20,000 (in millions)

Undoubtedly, you can find many of the hedge fund managers listed above on Forbes' billionaire list. Not only do the funds above garner the most assets under management, but they receive some of the highest compensation around for their production. We've covered many of the hedge funds portfolios listed in the top 10 above. Additionally, practically all of the funds we cover in aggregate are in the top 100.

Moving on Up

A noted value player, Seth Klarman's Baupost Group benefited from 2008 the most in terms of rankings. Baupost's assets grew over the past year and find themselves as the hedge fund to make the biggest leap between years. Baupost was 49th in 2008 and now sits in 13th for 2009. This past year was Klarman's first losing year as his funds were down around 7 to 12% but had practically no redemptions. You can view their portfolio holdings here. Paulson & Co was a notable mover on the list as well, as they jumped from 8th place in 2008 to 3rd place in 2009 (their portfolio here). London based Brevan Howard also benefited as they moved from number 11 in 2008 up to number 5 in 2009. Their 2008 performance was quite solid as their main fund finished up 20.4%.

Sliding Down

In terms of funds that fell in the rankings, Thomas Steyer's Farallon Capital Management definitely fits the bill. His fund lost nearly 45% of their assets due to redemptions and poor performance. Their funds were -24% on average for 2008 and you can see where their pain came from by checking out their portfolio holdings. Another notable mover not listed in the top 10 would be global macro giant Bruce Kovner's Caxton Associates. Last year, Caxton was number 16 on the list. However, due to loss of assets they are now number 51 on the 2009 rankings.

Other Notes

Stephen Mandel's Lone Pine Capital was ranked 17th in 2008 and comes in 21st for 2009. Their assets were down 28% but only due to poor performance, not really because of redemptions. You can check out the comprehensive list of hedge fund portfolios we cover here. To see how some of these hedge funds are performing, you can find their latest numbers in our performance numbers list. And, of course, head to Alpha if you wish to purchase the full list of rankings.

blog comments powered by Disqus