The financial world remains a difficult place to be at the moment, and this is true for all investors, whether they be in equities, indices or bonds. Nevertheless, hedge funds like to boast that they can achieve above-market profits in their financial transactions, and the first quarter of 2012 looked promising in this respect.
One participant in this difficult arena is ISAM, a hedge fund launched by Lord Fink of Man Group fame. Having been CEO at Man Group, his more recent venture has doubled the assets under its control in the past 12 months, leaving it with around $1 billion under its control.
In addition, the hedge fund, based in Mayfair, has managed to appoint Darren Upton from AHL, where he worked as head of trading. Upton presides over ISAM’s technologically based market strategy, which aims to use trends embedded in futures markets to garner profit.
His official role is that of research methodologist. Particular emphasis is placed on diversifying their risk, but even so, similar strategies have had a tough time of late as unprecedented levels of government intervention across a variety of different national economies have shifted investor behaviour unfavourably.
Those investors following such a market driven strategy found favourable returns in 2009 and 2011, but struggled in 2010, and have had only meagre returns this year, delivering under 3%. In addition, ISAM itself is actually down 3.3% this year.
Upton will aim to turn that around, but may have to wait for a couple of months to spot the correct trends in the market. Unpredictability has continued to flow forth from the Eurozone as Greek elections, French parliamentary elections, British financial injections and a host of other developments around the single currency makes forecasting ever more difficult. Stability is the one thing that everyone, ISAM included, could really do with right now.