December 20, 2017 / 4:00 PM / 9 months ago

Hedge fund Whale Rock stops taking in new money amid strong returns

BOSTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Whale Rock Capital Management, which has returned nearly 40 percent this year, has stopped accepting new capital after its assets grew to $2.5 billion, a person familiar with the hedge fund's decision said.

The Boston-based firm focuses on technology, media and telecommunications investments and has seen assets climb by roughly $1 billion this year, amid strong returns and an inflow of fresh money.

In the first 11 months of 2017, the fund returned 38.9 percent, far outpacing the average hedge fund's 7.6 percent gain through November. Over the last five years, the firm has returned an average 21 percent a year.

A spokesman for the firm declined to comment.

Whale Rock's decision to turn away potential new clients comes as many hedge funds struggle to find profitable investment ideas and as several prominent managers are returning some or all capital to clients.

Earlier this month, John Griffin told clients he was shuttering his $6 billion Blue Ridge Capital after 21 years and John Burbank said he would shutter the flagship fund at his firm Passport Capital.

Whale Rock's top investments, according to a regulatory filing, include Canadian e-commerce company Shopify and Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The firm is run by former Fidelity Investments portfolio manager Alex Sacerdote with a handful of analysts and has largely stayed out of the $3 trillion hedge fund industry's limelight since its launch in 2006. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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