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hedgeweek hugh leask captioned.jpg Hedge fund morale is high heading into the second half of 2021. The latest Hedge Fund Confidence Index – which measures the business sentiment of around 300 hedge funds, collectively managing some USD1 trillion in assets – found a positive mood among managers, as the industry’s 10 per cent average gain in H1 fuels what the study describes as a “renaissance” for the sector among investors.

The research, published jointly by the AIMA, Simmons & Simmons and Seward & Kissel, said optimism is “the highest it has been for many years” as opportunities unfold across a range of sectors and asset classes.

One such manager on the up is healthcare-focused equity long/short fund Rhenman & Partners, which scored first half returns of almost 12 per cent.  In what continues to be an unpredictable year for the healthcare industry, the Stockholm-based manager – which took home the Best Global Equity Fund category at the Hedgeweek European Awards back in March – saw correct calls in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors power its June performance.

On the flipside, trend-following hedge funds and CTA strategies endured a tricky start to the second half of the year, after four months of consecutive gains were brought to an abrupt halt in June. 

Société Générale’s CTA indices have continued their downward slide at the start of July, but despite the stumble market analysts believe managed futures remain well-placed to capitalise on emerging commodities and equities trends in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, 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.

In this week’s feature story, Barry Goodman, co-CEO and executive director of trading at long-running quantitative investment manager Millburn Ridgefield Corporation, discusses how the firm has evolved its strategy over the past five decades, seizing on the surge in data in recent years to help strengthen its investment pedigree, and expanding its focus into new areas such as thematic commodities and Chinese markets.

Hugh Leask
Editor, Hedgeweek

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