The Who of Hedge Funds
When one thinks about hedge funds the usual vision is of men in suits pushing papers and shoveling money into their bank accounts. But some hedge funds and their managers are, what can we say, a bit different. Take for example the new hedge fund launched by managers Morris Sachs, E.G. Fisher and Rob Wahl. Their new fund, which will focus on government bonds, will bear the nomen, “5:15 Capital Management.” The managers come from strong backgrounds at Brevan Howard and RBS Greenwich, and will begin with $60 million with the goal of going to an even $100 million. What about their interesting name, you may ask? The co-founders of the fund say that the name is a reference to a song by the popular British rock band, the Who. The song “5:15” is from the album “Quadrophenia,” a song all the partners agree is a great song from a band they all love.
In defense of the unusual name Sachs explained, “What are we going to do, try to find another name for the Greek god of money?”
Another hedge fund manager, Seth Fischer of Oasis Management Company (formerly known as DKR Oasis Management Company LP), is dissing the fund manager stereotype of an office-bound workaholic in another way. Fischer happens to be a serious runner, especially in Asia where has often appears in the winner’s circle of local races. Fischer is the portfolio manager and chief investment officer of Oasis Management Company, which was launched in 2002.
From 2002 until June 2011, when the fund was wound down, the DKR Oasis Fund had peak assets under management of $3.3 million which created yearly returns of 14.5% with a volatility of 11%. Investors at the outset of the fund’s creation realized a total return of 244%. In February 2010, Oasis launched the Oasis Investments Limited fund, known as “OIL” or “Oasis I”, a proprietary trading vehicle which invests in a combination of investment strategies that focus on global capital markets arbitrage, trading and investing. Annualized returns for the Oasis I fund have been reported to be over 50% through the end of March 2013.
On November 1, 2011, it was reported that Oasis had launched the Oasis Investments II Fund, a global, market neutral, multi-strategy fund with a primary focus on Asia, which according to sources with knowledge of Oasis’s funds’ performance, had produced annualized returns of over 20% through the end of March 2013.
Oasis Management has had offices in Tokyo since 2002, and Hong Kong since 2003, as well as in Singapore, London, Tel Aviv and other international locations.
In addition to being a runner and “Big City Marathoner” Fischer is involved in philanthropic activities. He is a Board Member of the Carmel School in Hong Kong and the Vice Chairman of the Ohel Leah Synagogue Management Committee.
Investing in the Wind
Boone Pickens, manager of BP Capital, is an energy maverick whose hedge fund returned 300% in 2005. But don’t let his Texas base and tie-in with oil fool you: he is a big supporter of alternative energy sources, and has pushed to create the “Pickens Plan,” an idea based on the use of alternatives to replace the high dependence the US has on foreign oil. He was even about to begin work on a huge wind turbine farm in Texas. Unfortunately times are hard. Although Pickens is still spending lots of money to build smaller-scale wind farms in Texas ($2-3 billion), the larger, more ambitious vision in on hold. Part of the reason for the delay can be blamed on the drop in the price of oil of late.