Most hedge funds run by massive asset managers like BlackRock and Janus are trailing the average performance this year

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  • Hedge funds from asset managers like BlackRock and Janus Henderson trail the average fund this year.
  • PIMCO’s massive hedge funds though have mostly matched the average.
  • Other funds include offerings from Neuberger Berman and AB. 
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Of BlackRock’s five hedge funds listed in HSBC’s Hedge Weekly report, just one has been above average through the first two and a half months of 2021.

The world’s largest asset manager has its long-running flagship fund Obsidian, managing $1.6 billion, and the $1.5 billion Fixed Income Global Alpha fund both returning under 2% through the first two months of the year. Both the roughly $600 million Emerging Companies hedge fund and $262 million BlackRock UK Equity have lost money — 1% and 0.14%, respectively — through March 12. 

Only the $583 million 32 Capital Master fund from the world’s largest asset manager has bested the average fund, which has returned 5.35% through February, according to the Hedge Fund Research. The 32 Capital Master fund is up nearly 9% through the end of February.

BlackRock’s hedge funds are not the only high-class options from broad asset managers that have been below average to start the year, according to HSBC’s report.

Janus Henderson’s $5.2 billion Octanis fund is up 2.12% for the year through March 12.

Neuberger Berman’s $432 million US Long Short Equity hedge fund is down 0.14% through March 17, though the firm points out the fund’s three-year track record has the fund returning 18.5%. The mutual fund version of the strategy is rated four stars by Morningstar and has $4.5 billion in assets.

At AB, the asset manager formerly known as AllianceBernstein, the manager’s $56 million select US Equity Long Short hedge fund is up 3.67% through March 16. The mutual fund version of the strategy said in a recent performance commentary that it is high on financial companies, including Goldman Sachs and Fifth Third Bank. 

Dan Ivascyn, group chief investment officer for Pimco.
Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Bond giant Pimco has had close-to-average hedge fund performance this year. After the onset of the pandemic caused Pimco’s tactical opportunities fund to fall 15% in a single month last year, the fund is up 5.6% through March 12 this year. The fund, which runs $5.2 billion and is coled by the firm’s CIO Dan Ivascyn, ended up returning close to 4% last year and raised hundreds of millions as the firm told investors it was one of the best investing environments in decades.

The firm’s smaller hedge fund, the $2.7 billion Global Credit Opportunity fund, was up 3.78% through the first month of the year. It is unclear how the fund did in February or the first part of March.

All managers declined to comment or did not respond immediately to requests for comment. 

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