Renaissance Technologies Rebounds Across Hedge Funds in March

(Bloomberg) -- Renaissance Technologies, the $58 billion quantitative investment firm founded by former military code-breaker Jim Simons, gained at three of its hedge funds last month, erasing declines posted when markets slumped in February.

The $23 billion Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund rose about 2.6 percent in March after falling 3 percent in February, bringing returns for the first quarter to 1.6 percent, according to investor documents seen by Bloomberg News. That fund, known as RIEF, trades only U.S.-listed equities and is biased toward those that Renaissance’s models expect to rise. It’s designed to outperform the S&P 500 Index, which lost 0.8 percent last quarter including dividends, by 4 to 6 percentage points.

The Renaissance Institutional Diversified Alpha Fund, which oversees more than $14 billion in equities and derivatives, soared 5.7 percent last month after two months of losses, pushing returns for this year through March to 1.2 percent. The Renaissance Institutional Diversified Global Equities Fund, which employs a market-neutral strategy and oversees about $5 billion, jumped 4.5 percent in March, pulling the fund into the black with a year-to-date gain of 1.9 percent.

Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for East Setauket, New York-based Renaissance, declined to comment.

Renaissance’s head of risk control, Ed Hubner, wrote in a letter sent to clients in January that the firm was preparing for market turbulence amid a “significant” risk of a correction, despite not knowing when that would happen. The S&P 500 index reached a record on Jan. 26 before tumbling about 10 percent over the next two weeks, spurring a spike in volatility.

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