Here's what mattered in hedge funds and asset and wealth management in 2022

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Good morning! And thank you for reading us on what is typically a sleepy week for Wall Street. This is Jeffrey Cane, filling in for Dan DeFrancesco today. 

Investors both big and small are closing the books on 2022, and to state the glaringly obvious, it wasn’t a good year for many of them. Take just one market benchmark, the S&P 500, which is heading for its worst annual performance since the global financial crisis year of 2008

To be sure, some big investors like macro hedge funds have been notable exceptions to the market gloom. (And yes, we see you Citadel, basking in the South Florida sun after another stunning year.)

Will the “smart money” be any wiser in 2023?  Please let me know what you think at jcane@insider.com.

As we do our own account settling for the year, here is some of our best reporting on the buy-side: hedge funds, asset managers, and wealth management. 

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Tiger Global's Chase Coleman Mike Nudelman/Insider


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Tiger Global’s Chase Coleman Mike Nudelman/Insider

1. Tiger, Tiger burning bright. An aggressive bet on tech startups by Tiger Global Management flamed out this year.  A major part of its innovative approach had involved outsourcing much of its due diligence to consultants from Bain & Co., an Insider investigation found

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2. A giant launch’s promise deferred. ExodusPoint Capital Management made a splashy debut in 2018, raising $8.5 billion. Four years later, the hedge fund, founded by two former Millennium executives, has yet to live up to the lofty expectations for it. High-profile departures and a mixed performance have dogged the firm. Read why ExodusPoint remains the talk of the hedge fund world.

3. A bellow from the “thundering herd.” At Merrill Lynch, client associates, who help financial advisors with clients’ investments, say they feel overworked and underpaid. Inside the discontent at the storied brokerage firm. 

4. Not so easy. Even the biggest companies can now become targets of activist investors. But many activists say that the hurdles to mounting a successful campaign have gotten steeper. Read more about the new challenges facing shareholder activism. 

5.  Private credit has become a booming market. So it’s no surprise that BlackRock would want to ramp up by buying a small specialist in the market. Since acquiring Tennenbaum Capital Partners in 2018, however, more than a dozen investment professionals at that firm have left, frustrated over strategy and pay. Inside the tensions at BlackRock’s private credit business.

6. Who gains from the war on “woke capitalism.” Republican state officials have withdrawn more than $2 billion from BlackRock, over the asset manager’s embrace of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) considerations when investing. Among the money managers benefiting from these political moves are Bank of New York Mellon and Federated Hermes. Here’s a look at what’s going on beyond the rhetoric

7. War for top talent.  Quant funds, which like macro investors have enjoyed a good 2022, have been going to increasingly great lengths to stop employees from working for competitors. Read how firms like Citadel and Renaissance Technologies keep their key people. 

8. The ultra-wealthy’s money managers. Meet the 10 investment professionals who handle the fortunes of America’s wealthiest, from Jeff Bezos to the Walton family.

9. Bet the ranch. A private-equity fund run by Beartooth Group has been buying up distressed ranches in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Why wealthy investors are putting millions of dollars into restoring ranchland.

10. Here comes the sun. Would you have guessed that Blackstone Group was behind the trendy sunscreen of last summer? The success of Supergoop, in which Blackstone holds a majority stake, points to other opportunities in household brands for the private-equity titan. More on Blackstone’s consumer bet.

Curated by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane).  Feedback or tips? Email ddefrancesco@insider.com, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Michelle Abrego (tweet @mabrego) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London. 

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