Events on the other side of the globe helped Brevan Howard Asset Management skirt the big losses suffered by other hedge funds in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan this month.
Brevan told investors that it cut its Equity Strategies Fund's net exposure to between 0% and 20% from 30% to 50% in February due to the unrest in the Middle East, especially the fighting between Libyan rebels and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. As a result, the $569 million was protected from the stock-market swoons that followed the disaster in Japan, which triggered a nuclear emergency and which claimed an estimated 20,000 lives.
"In light of the increasing uncertainty, both the net and gross exposure was significantly reduced," Brevan wrote to clients this week.
Odey Asset Management was not so fortunate: The London-based firm lost 5.6% through the middle of March, erasing its gains in January and February, Bloomberg News reports.
Odey wasn't alone: The aftermath of the Japanese tragedy hit Cerberus Capital Management, Paulson & Co., Sparx Group and Tudor Investment Corp., as well.