Braga's BlueTrend up 6.2% in July as Quant Funds Recover

Aug 7 2015 | 1:12pm ET

Leda Braga’s Systematica Investments has booked a 6.2% gain for July in its flagship BlueTrend computer-driven hedge fund.

Braga is a former top quant trader at Michael Platt’s BlueCrest Capital Management. Her firm was spun out of BlueCrest in late 2014. 

The July gain is symbolic of a strong month among quantitative investment vehicles that rely on computer algorithms to make trades. Generally, these funds do the best when macro trends in currencies, stocks, commodities and interest rates are consistent.

After a disappointing start this year, many such quant funds did well last month amid a rising dollar, crashing Chinese stock market, and Greek default. The HFRX Macro/CTA Index, an industry benchmark for such funds, gained 2.31% for the period.

The July gain reportedly puts the firm’s BlueTrend strategy up 3.1% for the year to date, according to Bloomberg citing unnamed sources, and makes up for losses sustained earlier this year as computer-driven hedge funds were hit by volatility in several markets. The HFRX Macro/CTA Index, for instance, lost 2.66% in June. 

Braga is a long-term bull on quantitative and algorithmic trading strategies. While she agrees certain niches, like activist investing, will always require a human touch, “The business of investment management is the business of data management,” she said at an industry conference in July. “The algorithmic approach is the best way to do that.”

Geneva-based Systematica currently manages approximately $8.8 billion. It was launched in January 2015 after the split with BlueCrest and posted a 9%+ gain in its first month of independent trading. It offers two main systematic strategies, BlueTrend, a trend-following fund, and BlueMatrix, which is an equity market neutral strategy. 

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