Asness's AQR Shows Lofty Profit Margin in First-Ever Disclosure

  • Pretax margin is above that of many asset-management rivals
  • Quant firm contributed more than 20% of AMG’s earnings in 2016

AQR Capital Management, the firm co-founded by Cliff Asness, isn’t the biggest asset manager in the business. But it was more profitable last year than many of its larger rivals.

Cliff Asness

Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

AQR’s financials, disclosed for the first time in a March 31 regulatory filing, show that the company earned a pretax profit of $531.1 million last year on revenue of $941.5 million. That’s a 56 percent margin.

The numbers came in a filing by Affiliated Managers Group Inc., which has owned a stake in AQR since 2004. AMG had to disclose the results because AQR accounted for more than 20 percent of its pretax net income in 2016 under generally accepted accounting principles. AQR contributed about 15 percent of AMG’s Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to Alexandra Lynn, a spokeswoman for AMG.

Mike Geller, a spokesman for AQR, declined to comment.

AQR, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, was founded in 1998. It managed $187.6 billion in a mix of traditional and alternative investments as of Dec. 31, according to its website. AMG owns stakes in about 40 money managers.

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