Last year was a forgettable one for several top quantitative hedge funds—and other prominent industry players, as well.
Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund, saw its Pure Alpha II drop 0.8% in December to end 2013 up only 5.3%—a far cry from the Standard & Poor's 500 Index's 30% surge. At least, however, Bridgewater was up: BlueCrest Capital Management's BlueTrend fund suffered its first-ever down year, off by 12% following a 3.1% December drop, Bloomberg News reports.
Even those quants that did relatively well found themselves looking up at soaring stocks. Renaissance Technologies' Institutional Equities Fund rose 18% in 2013, fully 12 points behind the S&P500.
Other hedge funds enjoying double-digit (but still sub-S&P500) returns last year included Hutchin Hill Capital, which rose 19% (2.4% in December), according to Bloomberg, and Moore Capital Management, whose Global Investments Fund added 15% through Dec. 19 (down 0.7% on the month) and whose Macro Managers Fund was up 13% (0.4% in December). MKP Capital Management's $2.4 billion Credit Fund rose 11% last year (0.9% in December), while its $4.8 billion Opportunity Fund settled 7.1% (1.1% in December), in line with industry averages.