New hedge funds raised about the same in the first half of 2012 as they did during the first six months of last year—thanks almost entirely to Renaissance Technologies’ first new offering in five years.
All told, newly-launched hedge funds took in $10.4 billion in the first half, Absolute Return magazine reports. That’s slightly better than the $10.3 billion new funds garnered in the first half of 2011.
But about half of this year’s total went to a single fund, RenTech’s new Diversified Alpha Fund. Investors could not get enough of the first new RenTech fund since founder James Simons stepped away from day-to-day management of the East Setauket, N.Y.-based firm: It launched in March with $3.5 billion and topped $5 billion by the end of the half.
By contrast, the second-largest launch of the year was Encompass Capital, led by Citadel Investment Group veteran Todd Kantor, which gathered a little less than $1 billion. Arbalet Capital, founded by former Arrowhawk Capital Partners trader Jennifer Fan in January, netted $650 million.
One might have expected the flood of big names to come to market this year to have raised more than they actually have. Former FrontPoint Partners star trader Steven Eisman’s Emrys Partners launched with $22.9 million in March and now manages just over $50 million, a far cry from the $1 billion he managed at FrontPoint. And other new hedge funds launched by veterans of Barclays, Citadel and Goldman Sachs have failed to attract much beyond their initial seed investments, AR reports.