RAB Special Situations Up (!) 20%

Mar 29 2012 | 11:57am ET

RAB Capital co-founder Philip Richards may be authoring one of the most unlikely comebacks in hedge fund history.

RAB's embattled flagship, Special Situations, is up more than 20% this year. The fund lost more than 70% in 2008 and has posted a series of disappointing years since, rising 4.6% in 2009 and losing 7.6% in 2010. Last year, RAB said it would transform Special Situations into a natural resources-focused fund after investors moved to redeem 79% of its assets, once as high as US$2 billion.

That new focus seems to be paying off: Special Situations rose 12% last month and is up 20.9% on the year. It's doing so well, it has cashed in some of its positions, Reuters reports.

"During the month the fund took the opportunity to capitalize on the strong markets in order to realize cash," Richards wrote to investors in a Special Situations feeder fund.

The turnaround for Special Situations comes as RAB seeks to rebuild its fortunes as a firm and recover from its Special Situations-inflicted wounds. In January, CEO Charles Kirwan-Taylor left the firm, with co-founder Michael Alen-Buckley taking the helm at the delisted company. Alen-Buckley said at the time that the US$350 million firm had more than £40 million in cash and reserves and would seek to rebound as a private company.

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