Blackstone Closes Senfina Hedge Fund After Losing 24% in 2016by
Parag Pande said to be leaving along with other fund managers
Fund wasn’t able to bounce back from a 17% loss in February
Blackstone Group LP, the largest manager of alternative assets, is closing its two-year-old Senfina Advisors after it lost 24 percent in 2016.
The $1.8 billion Senfina, which allocated money among a group of 11 portfolio managers, lost 6 percent last month alone, Bloomberg reported in December. It was a short-lived experiment for Blackstone, which started Senfina in 2014 as its first in-house, multi-manager fund.
"The market environment in 2016 for long/short hedge funds was unprecedented," Paula Chirhart, a spokeswoman for Blackstone, said in an e-mailed statement. "We did what was in the best interest of our investors to preserve their capital."
Senfina was one of last year’s top performers, gaining 21 percent and placing eighth in Bloomberg’s ranking of hedge funds with more than $1 billion. This year, it’s been unable to bounce back from a 17 percent loss in February, despite gains in April and May. The fund also struggled last month after wrong-way bets following the election of Donald Trump.
Some of the funds’ managers will leave the firm including Parag Pande, who ran the so-called center book, which compiled the best ideas from the teams, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be named because the information is private.
Blackstone President Tony James said in July on an earnings call that he expected the Senfina strategy’s to be more volatile. "We also expect it over time to put on higher returns and we’re still very optimistic about that business model," he said.
Reuters reported the closure earlier on Tuesday.