Magnetar Capital Taps Scoby to Head Quantitative Investments

Mar 4 2016 | 10:20pm ET

Former UBS executive and Achievement Asset Management CEO Joseph Scoby is joining Magnetar Capital and will lead the firm’s quantitative investment efforts. 

Scoby will begin his new role in April and will be responsible for Magnetar’s alternative smart beta businesses, according to a Bloomberg article citing a statement by Magnetar co-founder Ross Laser. The firm, which is minority-owned by Blackstone, is well known for betting against the housing market in the runup to the 2008 financial crisis. 

So-called smart-beta strategies are systematic approaches that can generate hedge-fund like returns at cheaper prices and with more flexible liquidity. They include risk premia and risk parity strategies that shift capital across asset classes based on volatility.

Scoby’s Achievement Asset Management, which managed nearly $2 billion at its peak, was spun out of Peak6 Investments in 2014 and focused on long/short equity, volatility and credit strategies. It was closed in November of last year after particularly unsuccessful bets on energy-related securities torpedoed returns in its main fund. 

Founded by Laser and former Citadel executive Alec Litowitz in 2005, Evanston, IL-based Magnetar invests across equity and credit in both public and private transactions. The company manages approximately $13.5 billion in a wide range of global event driven, fixed income and energy strategies. 

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