Scoby Joins Magnetar to Run Hedge Fund's Quantitative Investing

  • Hedge fund firm managed $13.5 billion in assets as of Jan. 1
  • Manager starts next month after shutting Achievement last year

Joseph Scoby, the former UBS Group AG executive who shut his hedge fund firm Achievement Asset Management last year, is joining Magnetar Capital to lead quantitative investments.

Scoby, who will start in April, will be responsible for building the firm’s “alternative smart beta” businesses, co-founder Ross Laser said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. Magnetar, which sold a minority stake to Blackstone Group LP last year, has sought to expand with new business lines.

Magnetar, which managed $13.5 billion as of Jan. 1, specializes in investing in corporate events, fixed income and energy. The Evanston, Illinois-based firm, co-founded by Laser and Alec Litowitz in 2005, is best known for betting against the housing market ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.

Magnetar is the latest money manager to explore systematic products that can offer returns similar to those generated by hedge funds, frequently at cheaper prices and with more flexible liquidity terms. This includes strategies called smart beta, risk premia and risk parity that aim to capture basic trends in the market by shifting money across asset classes based on volatility. Such strategies performed particularly well in 2008 and 2009.

Scoby, 50, managed as much as $2 billion at Achievement as of 2014. The firm employed strategies including betting on and against stocks, volatility and credit.

He decided to return money to investors in his hedge fund in November as corporate credit conditions soured and his fund was down about 7 percent on the year. Before starting Achievement in 2012, Scoby had worked at UBS since 1987 and was chief investment officer of its O’Connor hedge funds for a decade.

“I have known the team at Magnetar for many years and look forward to working with them," Scoby said in the statement.

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