(Adds details on new funds, funds that dropped out)
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON, April 27 Assets managed by the largest
hedge funds slipped in 2016 in their first calendar-year decline
since the financial crisis, according to a survey released on
Thursday by data and news provider Hedge Fund Intelligence.
The twice-annual Billion Dollar Club report showed that the
309 largest hedge funds oversaw assets of $1.88 trillion at the
beginning of January 2017. This marks a 0.04 percent contraction
from a year earlier.
Assets declined last year at more than half of the hedge
funds managing more than $1 billion, also a first since the
The data tracks roughly two-thirds of the entire hedge fund
universe, which is generally estimated to oversee $3 trillion.
It illustrates the difficulties the industry has faced as
investors like pension funds are pulling money out in response
to hedge funds' lackluster returns and high fees.
The biggest decline in assets was at Och-Ziff Capital
Management, one of only a handful of publicly traded
hedge funds. Its assets dropped by $11.1 billion to $33.5
billion, the survey said.
Och-Ziff last year settled charges with the U.S. Justice
Department that some employees had bribed officials in Africa. A
number of pension funds, including the state of Rhode Island,
dropped the firm as they pulled back their exposure to hedge
York Capital Management's assets dropped to $16.2 billion
from $22.3 billion. Paulson & Co, one of a number of hedge funds
to lose a lot of money on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
Inc, showed a decrease to $9.82 billion from $14.21
billion, the survey reported.
But there were winners as well.
Bridgewater Associates retained its spot as the biggest
hedge fund as its assets climbed to $122.3 billion from $104.2
Indeed Bridgewater and AQR Capital Management controlled
10.24 percent of the Billion Dollar Club's assets. This was the
first time the two biggest firms in the exclusive club jointly
oversaw more than 10 percent.
Representatives for the funds either declined to comment or
did not respond to requests seeking comment.
A notable new entrant is distressed debt investment firm
Silver Rock Financial, which received funding from junk bond
investor Michael Milken and had $2.3 billion at the start of
Assets shrank at Folger Hill Asset Management and TPG-Axon
Capital Management, which were dropped from the club.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)