Rubicon Shutting Down 20-Year-Old Flagship Fund

Paul Brewer’s baby suffered from tumultuous volatility in recent years.

One of London’s oldest hedge funds is closing its flagship fund.

Rubicon Fund Management has decided to close its 20-year-old Global fund due to rough market swings and poor performances in recent years.

The firm, run by founder Paul Brewer, a former global co-head of foreign exchange at Salomon Brothers, was one of the few institutions to post positive returns during the financial crisis. In fact, Rubicon gained 44% in 2008.

It also did well between 2014 and 2016, again increasing by double digits following Donald Trump’s US presidential election victory.

However, Brewer’s bond, currency, stock, and commodity-based macro bets have not been as strong more recently. The Global fund, once managing $1 billion, has dropped to about one-quarter of that due to losses and investors withdrawing their holdings. It fell 35% in 2017 due to shrinking 10-year US government bonds, and only returned 2% last year. To add insult to injury, the fund declined by another 3.3% in January, reported Bloomberg.

Following these underwhelming years, Brewer has decided to shut down his baby, and cut jobs. This also coincides with many other hedge funds deciding to close or lay off a bulk of their staff after last year’s volatility proved to be more than they could handle.

Marco funds in general have been having a rough time. Although they are up 0.61% year-to-date, they are down -2.44% in the past 12 months, and -0.93% in the past 36 months, according to industry benchmark HFRI indices. Overall, the hedge fund industry ended 2018 in the red, losing -3.42%, according to Preqin.

Rubicon will still carry on through its artificial intelligence-based Dynamic fund. The smaller, long-only fund, which has just under $100 million, tries to pick cheap assets on the rise using computer algorithms.

Rubicon confirmed the news, but declined comment.


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