Special situations hedge fund Sand Grove Capital names Citi’s Caplan as CEO

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Special situations hedge fund Sand Grove Capital has appointed banking veteran Daniel Caplan as CEO, as the firm looks to capitalise on soaring volumes of mergers and acquisitions and other corporate activity.

Caplan joins from Citi, where he spent five years building and leading its regional sales strategy across investor services products, including prime brokerage and synthetic equity, having also focused on equities coverage for European hedge funds.

Before that, Caplan was at Deutsche Bank for some 20 years, holding several roles across equities and prime brokerage, latterly as head of its EMEA Prime Finance business before joining Citi in 2015.

As Sand Grove’s first CEO, Caplan – who earlier worked closely with founder and CIO Simon Davies, partnering in raising assets for his Cheyne event driven fund and more recently as a senior trusted advisor to Sand Grove – will develop a strategic vision for the firm, building on institutional relationships to further strengthen its business.

Established in 2015, Sand Grove uses deep value-based research to invest opportunistically across large and mid-cap special situations deals, focusing predominantly on equities, as well as trading bonds and other asset classes in certain instances.

Today, the fund manages almost USD2 billion in assets, with an investor base spanning fund of funds, endowments and foundations, pensions and family offices across the US, Europe, Japan and Asia.

Caplan’s hire comes as activist, merger arbitrage and special situations hedge funds tap into the current spike in M&A, takeovers and other corporate activity this year.

Goldman Sachs data suggests a record year for M&A, with North American and European acquirers announcing some USD2 trillion worth of deals since the start of 2021.

Hedge Fund Research’s event driven index – which tracks the performances of activist, special situations, distressed and restructuring, and merger arb hedge funds – rose almost 12 per cent in the first six months of the year. Special situations funds specifically were up 12.99 per cent in H1.

By comparison, the Sand Grove Opportunities Fund gained 23.6 per cent in the first half of this year, already surging beyond its 2020 annual return of 14 per cent. Since inception, the strategy has advanced 106 per cent, with an annualised return of 11.8 per cent in the six years since launch.

Sand Grove declined to comment on its fund performance.

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Hugh Leask
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