The manager of a Zadig Asset Management stock hedge fund will go into business for himself—and is taking his fund with him.
Jonathan Herbert has founded Cologny Advisors in London. The new firm will house Herbert's four-and-a-half-year-old Camox Fund, which has bounced back from a disappointing 2011 with double-digit returns this year.
Camox, which manages €25 million, has a concentrated portfolio of 25 longs and five shorts. The fund is up 29.7% this year—11.7% this month to date alone—and is "very long."
"The cheaper that stocks get, the more interesting, as I invest in companies in good-quality Europe: Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia," Herbert told Financial News. "They are exposed to the entire world, not peripheral Europe. Their sales to Greece are 0%, sales to Spain at 0% to 2% and sales to Italy are 0% to 5%." And as good as things have been, they're about the get better, he said.
"Now the [European Central Bank] is ready to do what I though they'd do two years ago," Herbert said.
Camox returned 4.7%, 29% and 26% in its first three years before losing 13% last year. "I underperformed because I chronically underestimated the depths of the European crisis," Herbert said. "I believe that the euro is a political rather than economic project and thought that the full force of the European Central Bank would be behind it."
He also blamed bad currency moves for Camox's 2011 wores.
"I'm the only imbecile out there who hedged out currency exposure" as the Swiss franc soared to reach parity with the euro, which Camox is denominated in, Herbert said. "It was a double whammy."
Camox charges 1.5% for management and 20% for performance.