Hugh Hendry, one of Britain's highest profile hedge fund managers, has told New Zealand institutional investors his 2013 conversion from a bearish to bullish outlook is starting to pay off.
Speaking to an Auckland audience via Skype from the UK this week, Hendry said his Eclectica hedge fund, which he founded in 2005, was now up 14 to 15 percent this year and is currently one of the 10 best performing hedge funds. It also made an 8 percent return in 2014 after disappointing returns in the two years prior to that. Since Hendry started Eclectica Asset Management in 2002, it has averaged a 9 percent compounded return.
New Zealand-based fund manager NZAM has invested in Hendry's hedge fund since 2011, attracted to his contrarian investing and colourful style. Like Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, Hendry hails from Glasgow, has a great accent, and loves to tell a story. His fund attracted attention after achieving a 31.2 percent return in 2008 in the depths of the financial crisis. He became a media figure, including a famous appearance on BBC's Newsnight when he asked Nobel Prize-winning economist Jospeh Stiglitz: "Um, hello? Can I tell you about the real world?".
This week he told Auckland private investors that the fund's franchise was "contentious posturing" and that the most contentious thing you can say today is that you are bullish - a posture he adopted in 2013 and which he believes is now paying off.
Hendry says his assets under management have fallen from more than US$1.5 billion to US$300 million today after he told clients two years ago that he was being forced to leave his bearish outlook behind.
Read more at Hugh Hendry is Happy After He Changed His Mind On Equities and China. Fund is up 14% in 2015
Hugh Hendry is a fund manager at Eclectica Asset Management. He has become prominent in the United Kingdom for his commentary on the financial crisis. Hendry has been referred to as "the most high-profile Scot in the controversial (Hedge Fund) sector."