Howard tops hedgie rich list with US$2.3b fortune

LONDON, April 27 — Ultra-secretive trader Alan Howard has topped the rankings of wealthiest hedge fund managers in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, after his fund navigated the euro zone debt crisis last year to post bumper profits.

Howard, co-founder of Brevan Howard, one of Europe’s biggest hedge fund firms, grew his total wealth by 44 per cent to £1.4 billion (RM6.9 billion), the survey by the British newspaper shows.

The former Credit Suisse trader, who escaped Britain’s top rate taxes in 2010 with a move to Switzerland, saw his firm’s flagship US$27 billion Master fund gain more than 12 per cent last year, after making big gains betting that global bond markets had not properly priced in an economic slowdown.

The survey shows the top 10 managers added £972 million to their fortunes since last year, despite a poor year for hedge funds in general with the average fund down 5.3 per cent, according to Hedge Fund Research.

The biggest riser in the table was David Harding, founder of US$29 billion fund firm Winton Capital, who almost doubled his personal wealth to £800 million.

London-based Winton, which aims to make money following trends in global futures markets, made 6.3 per cent last year even as rivals such as AHL — which he co-founded in the 1980s but later left — struggled.

On the back of strong gains in 2010 as well, Harding’s firm is estimated to have sucked in US$1 in every US$8 of the total assets that investors ploughed into hedge funds worldwide last year.

Elsewhere in the top ten, Michael Platt, co-founder of US$29.4 billion firm BlueCrest Capital and manager of its US$10.8 billion global macro fund, was fourth with his wealth rising 24 per cent to £650 million.

Michael Hintze, founder of CQS is fifth with his fortune edging up by £30 million to £580 million, even though his US$1.4 billion Directional Opportunities fund was down 10.5 per cent last year.

And Crispin Odey, founder of Odey Asset Management, and wife Nichola Pease saw their wealth edge up to £455 million in sixth position, despite a 20.6 per cent drop in Odey’s US$1.3 billion European fund last year.

The Sunday Times Rich List lists the 1,000 richest people and families in the UK and the 250 wealthiest in Ireland. — Reuters


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