Apparently unscarred by the Amaranth Advisors fiasco, the trader whose natural gas trades triggered the collapse of the Connecticut hedge fund manager nearly two years ago is back in business. A commodity hedge fund advised by Brian Hunter surged in July as energy, metals and agricultural prices suffered their largest fall in nearly three decades.

The Peak Ridge Commodity Volatility Fund launched in November last year and advised by Hunter returned around 24 percent last month, leaving it up at least 230 percent this year, according to Bloomberg.

Commodity prices fell 10 per cent in July, the biggest monthly decline since March 1980, as measured by the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, which has now plunged 19 per cent from its July 3 peak.

Rising inventories and slumping demand sent contracts from oil to soybeans tumbling, raising the prospect of an end to the six-year commodity boom. Commodities have continued their declines this month, dragging down the shares of companies in the mining, energy and agricultural sectors.

Peak Ridge Capital Group, a Boston-based alternative investment manager also active in private equity and real estate, hired 34-year-old Hunter last year to advise its commodity fund. Hunter appears to have put all his troubles behind him, but some investors will be wondering what kind of risks are being run by the man whose bets cost Amaranth as much as USD5bn in the space of just a week when the natural gas market moved against him.


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