BlueCrest closes USD550m equity fund

BlueCrest Capital Management, a UK hedge fund manager in which Man Group Holdings has a 25 per cent stake, has informed investors it is shutting its USD550m BlueCrest Equity Fund after a period of poor performance.

Since launching three years ago, the equity fund has generated an average net annual return of 5.3 per cent, but for the first eight months of this year, it recorded losses of 8.19 per cent, including a 5.49 per cent negative return in August, the firm said.

A number of investment managers responsible for the fund have left the firm. Despite losses last month, all of BlueCrest's other funds are up this year. 'Recent performance has been disappointing,' says a spokesman. 'We anticipate asset outflows of less than USD100m, as the majority of the invested capital will be reallocated to other BlueCrest strategies where we see greater opportunities.'

London-based BlueCrest manages significant institutional assets across a number of diversified strategies out of total assets under management of almost USD12bn at the end of June).

The firm's two founders, Michael Platt and William Reeves, were both managing directors and senior proprietary traders at JP Morgan before leaving to establish BlueCrest in 2000. The firm's principals own the remaining 75 per cent of the firm.

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