Marshall Wace Enters Quant Market With 80 Capital Purchase

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Marshall Wace, a London-based hedge fund manager, bought 80 Capital to start a quantitative strategy, joining firms such as Man Group Plc in the computer-driven market.

80 Capital’s five-person team includes former Deutsche Bank AG fund manager Philippe Azoulay, 34, who will join Marshall Wace as a partner, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“The hedge fund industry is evolving and our belief is larger, better resourced firms running a diverse set of strategies are the ones which will thrive,” Chief Executive Officer and founder Ian Wace said.

Marshall Wace’s purchase of 80 Capital and its Helium Strategy is a step into a market occupied by some of Europe’s largest hedge funds. London-based Man Group has $33 billion of its $78 billion in quantitative strategies, while David Harding’s systematic trading firm Winton Capital Management passed $30 billion in March.

80 Capital’s Helium Strategy, which trades futures with computer algorithms, manages about $100 million, Marshall Wace said. Established in 2012 by Deutsche Bank, which also provided the funding to establish 80 Capital, Helium’s returns were 1 percent, net of fees, in the first four months of this year and 11 percent annually since its inception, a spokeswoman said.

Wace, 52, formed Marshall Wace with Paul Marshall in 1997.

“Having known Philippe for some time we are confident that he and his team are a good cultural fit,” Wace said.

The firm manages about $20 billion, which is mostly deployed in strategies making long and short bets on equities.

Wace and Marshall both increased their personal net fortunes by 100 million pounds ($157 million) to 400 million pounds last year, according to a wealth ranking compiled by the Sunday Times newspaper.

(A previous version of this story misstated Man Group’s quantitative assets in the the fourth paragraph)

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