Billion-Dollar Startups Show New Hedge Funds Are Thriving

Hedge fund launches this year are on pace to match last year’s numbers, even as returns have been more subdued than 2020’s big gains.

And the 2022 startups could be even bigger, possibly led by former Viking Global Investors manager Divya Nettimi, given that Viking has spawned some of the most notable debuts of the past few years, according to people familiar with her plans.

Most of the startups will focus on equities, specializing in areas such as biotech or technology and hoping to capitalize on 2020’s outperformance by such specialized hedge funds, which beat the broader market. So far this year, these so-called sector funds have woefully lagged behind the S&P 500, returning about a fifth of the benchmark’s gains, according to research firm PivotalPath.

The number of new firms in 2021 is on track to match last year’s total of about 60, according to Morgan Stanley. Even with the pandemic, about 20% more firms launched last year than in 2019. A few raised $1 billion or more.

So far this year, at least four new firms are on track to meet or surpass the $1 billion money-raising mark.

Two former Citadel money managers Niall O’Keeffe and Tio Charbaghi started London-based FIFTHDELTA on Thursday with $1.25 billion.

Rami Abdel-Misih, who worked at Louis Bacon’s Moore Capital Management for almost a decade, opened Mane Global earlier this year with about $1 billion from Moore for his stock fund and raised an additional $200 million from other clients, people familiar with the firm said. Abdel-Misih, 42, is concentrating on consumer, technology, media and telecommunications stocks.

David Kroin’s Deep Track Capital started in April with about $800 million, with $500 million more expected by year-end, according to people familiar with his firm.

Kroin, 45, worked at Great Point Partners for 17 years, primarily running the firm’s biotech hedge fund, which managed about $1.4 billion at the beginning of 2020.

Grant Wonders, another ex-Viking Global technology manager, started Voyager Global this year with close to $1 billion, according to a person familiar with the firm.

Read more: Viking Technology Portfolio Manager Exits to Start Hedge Fund

IPO Market

Chris Golden, who co-founded Darsana Capital Partners in 2014, plans to start his own firm later this year or in early 2022, and people familiar with his plans said it could also be among the larger debuts. He’ll focus on public and private companies, a trend that has been embraced by many equity funds given the strong market for initial public offerings.

Viking Global’s Nettimi, 35, whose firm has yet to be named, will concentrate on technology, media and telecommunications, and also invest in public and private companies.

Tarigh Yusufi will open Forest Avenue Capital Management in Miami in the first half of 2022, investing in renewable energy, industrials and consumer stocks.

All of the managers declined to comment.

FounderFirm NameAssetsStyleFormer Employer
Niall

O’Keeffe

& Tio Charbaghi
FIFTHDELTA$1.25BIndustrials, TMT EquitiesCitadel
Rami Abdel-MisihMane Global$1.2BConsumer, TMT equitiesMoore Capital
David KroinDeep Track$1.3B*Biotech equitiesGreat Point Partners
Grant WondersVoyager Global$1BTMT EquitiesViking Global
Christophe AurandNekton Capital$1B*EquitiesYork Capital Management
James SmithPalliser Capital$750M*Multi-strategyElliott Investment Management
Franck TuilSparta Capital$600M*ActivistElliott Investment Management
Jacob KlineDark Forest$250MSystematic equitiesBridgewater
Divya NettimiTBD**Global TMT public/private equitiesViking Global
Tarigh YusufiForest Avenue Capital**Renewables, industrials, consumer equitiesSteadfast Capital
Chris GoldenTBD**Public/private equitiesDarsana Capital
Alex KarnalBraidwell**

Biotech/pharma

public/private debt and equities

Deerfield

*By year-end

**Launch expected in Q4 or 2022

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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