Astenbeck Loses 3.8%, First Loss For Manager In 14 Years

Feb 10 2012 | 2:50am ET

One of the longest streaks of positive performance on Wall Street came to an end last year, with Astenbeck Capital Management's first-ever annual loss.

Astenbeck, which is run alongside the much older and more venerable Phibro commodities trading desk by Andrew Hall, lost 3.8% last year, Reuters reports. Hall has managed money for outside investors only since 2007 and launched Astenbeck in 2010 to take over those operations, but at Phibro, he had posted positive gains every year since 1997.

Astenbeck, which manages about $5 billion, was whipsawed by the market volatility this year. The hedge fund rose 18% through April, but lost much of those gains during early May's oil rout. By the end of August, it was down more than 10%, only to recover and then some. Another swoon, 18% in September, left it down 5%, but Stephen Chazen, CEO of Phibro parent Occidental Petroleum, said that by October Hall was back at even, if not better.

In the wake of his first loss in recent memory, Hall has retooled his top staff somewhat. Deputy Malcolm McAvity retired from the firm last month—he said last year's loss had nothing to do with his exit at 61 after 26 years—and Hall hired John Petti as co-chief oil trader, alongside the boss himself, and Christian Harris as head of agricultural and non-energy commodity trading.

Both Petti and Harris joined last year from Sempra Energy, although Petti worked at Phibro from 1986 through 2002.

In Depth

Related-Company Fees: Normal Industry Practice or Conflicted Compensation?

Nov 11 2015 | 4:23pm ET

Regulatory agencies as well as investors are increasingly exploring whether certain...


Ferrari Roars in Wall Street Debut

Oct 21 2015 | 4:28pm ET

Shares of supercar maker Ferrari jumped as much as 15 percent to a high of nearly...

Guest Contributor

Private Debt - What is the Opportunity?

Nov 11 2015 | 3:28pm ET

In this contributed article, Rob Allard, founding partner of Firebreak Capital...


Editor's Note

    Oct 21 2015 | 10:41am ET

    One of the most unique charity benefits in the hedge fund industry, A Leg To Stand On's (ALTSO's) Hedge Fund Rocktoberfest - NYC, raised nearly $500,000 last Thursday thanks to the generous support of major sponsors and nearly 1,400 attendees from the Tri-State finance, business and hedge fund communities. Read more…