Digital Assets Report


Like this article?

Sign up to our free newsletter

Who is the UK’s richest hedge fund manager?

Related Topics

Michael Platt is the wealthiest hedge fund manager in the UK, according to the new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List, to be published on 7 May.   

Platt (pictured), the co-founder and managing director of London-based hedge fund BlueCrest Capital Management, has seen his wealth go up GBP300 million in the past year.
The firm now only handles the wealth of partners and members after Geneva-based Platt, 49, called time last year on managing money from outside clients. The move worked as the fund reported a 50 per cent gain during 2016.
The business, which was valued at GBP1.51 billion in 2011, was founded by Preston-born Platt and business partner William Reeves, who retired from the operation and moved to Hawaii.
In stark contrast, Crispin Odey’s pessimistic bets on the UK economy – after the Brexit referendum – backfired when the markets rallied. His GBP6.5 billion hedge fund lost 49.5 per cent of its value across 2016. Odey was a prominent supporter of the “leave” campaign, donating more than GBP870,000 to Brexit campaign groups.
Even before the referendum his hedge fund was under pressure, with profits sinking from GBP84 million to GBP44 million in 2015-16. Odey's wife Nichola Pease was deputy chairwoman of JO Hambro Capital Management when it was sold in 2011. She netted GBP26 million for her stake. The relatively poor performance of Odey’s firm, Mayfair-based Odey Asset Management, leaves him seventh in the Sunday Times’ list of the wealthiest hedge fund managers, having experienced a decrease in wealth of GBP125 million in the past year.
Robert Watts, compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, says: “This year’s largest-ever Rich List lays bare how the fortunes of Britain’s 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families have fared amid the astonishing events of the past 12 months.
“Brexit created some golden opportunities for the hedge fund world – and some massive pitfalls. Almost all of this group escaped the turmoil with their reputations and finances intact.
“It will be interesting to see how many hedgies in our list follow Michael Platt’s lead and quit managing other people’s money -– and choose only to manage their own fortunes…which in most instances would appear to be quite a task.”
Despite the Brexit referendum, and potential economic uncertainties in the UK, the wealth of hedge fund managers continues to increase. This year the total wealth of the top 10 is close to GBP11 billion, with a more than GBP500 million increase in their collective wealth.
Robert Miller, 84 later this month, co-founded the Hong Kong-based Duty Free Shoppers (DFS) chain with Alan Parker in 1960, specialising in airport shops. Born in America, he is a British citizen and owns a home in London and a 36,000-acre North Yorkshire shooting estate. Much of the family wealth is now tied up in the hedge fund Search Investment Group, which has managed Miller's money since 1974.
His daughter Marie-Chantal, 48, is the crown princess of Greece. Miller and family are second in the list of the wealthiest hedge fund managers and are valued at GBP1.58 billion, the same amount as last year.
The fortune of David Harding is put at GBP1.3 billion, up GBP150 million from last year. Harding, 55, set up hedge fund Winton Capital in 1997. Profits at Winton fell to GBP219 million in 2015, but Harding is rapidly expanding the business, which now manages more than USD30 billion of clients’ assets and has nine offices around the world. In the past two years Hammersmith-based Winton has paid out more than GBP550 million of dividends, with Harding entitled to half of these. Harding is the third richest hedge fund manager in the UK according to this year’s list, and like Sir Michael Hintze, in fourth place, a generous philanthropist. Harding gave away GBP9 million last year to a range of charities involved in social aid and care, medical research, music, the arts and those with a mathematics or science focus.
Hintze, worth GBP1.28 billion, is one of three hedge fund managers who have received a knighthood, in part for their philanthropic work.
Other charitable hedgies, include Sir Chris Hohn, sixth on the list, who has a wealth of GBP820 million, up GBP100 million from last year. Hohn, 50, has made huge donations to his Children's Investment Fund Foundation charity and was knighted for services to philanthropy and international development in 2014.
Sir Paul Marshall, joint 10th on the list, is worth GBP505 million – up GBP40 million from last year. He was joint-founder of Marshall Wace, a firm that now manages USD26 billion worldwide. He is a founding trustee of the Ark children’s charity and was knighted last year for his services to education and philanthropy.

Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter

Most Popular

Further Reading