RenTech Best, Paulson Worst In 2011

Jan 6 2012 | 10:13am ET

It may go down as the second-worst year in hedge fund industry history, but 2011, like all other years, produced a mixed-bag of hedge fund returns for the biggest names in the business.

None did better than Renaissance Technologies, according to HSBC's final Hedge Weekly report for the year. The East Setauket, N.Y.-based firm's best fund returned 34.66% on the year, topping a list that included funds managed by BlackRock, Brevan Howard and JPMorgan Chase.

The worst performers were headlined by a firm used to being on HSBC's other list: Paulson & Co., whose biggest fund fell 47.77% on the year. Also on the naughty list were Odey Asset Management and Occam Asset Management.

Of course, most hedge funds enjoyed more modest gains than that seen by RenTech or less miserable losses than those suffered by Paulson. Elliott Associates returned 4.2% last year, despite giving back 0.3% in December. Pershing Square Capital Management, by contrast, couldn't erase its year-to-date losses last month, but it came close, adding 3.1% in December to end the year down just 1.1%.

The average hedge fund lost about 4% last year, according to industry indices.

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