Blackstone's Senfina Down -15% YTD After June Losses

Jul 22 2016 | 7:55pm ET

Blackstone’s $1.9 billion hedge fund unit Senfina Advisors is down 15% so far in 2016 following a difficult June.

The fund lost 3.5% during the month, according to a Bloomberg article citing an investor update, which the manager attributed to unfavorable movements in long and short equity positions associated with financial services, energy, telecommunications and materials companies. The performance was unrelated to Britain’s Brexit, the company reportedly said. 

Senfina, which means “everlasting” in Esperanto, was launched in 2014 as a multi-manager, multi-strategy fund. It allocates capital among eleven teams in a setup reminiscent of Izzy Englander’s Millennium Partners. The fund earned a 21% return last year, according to Bloomberg data. 

However, like many alternative investment advisors, the start of the year was difficult; Senfina posted losses of 17% in February alone. Although it reversed some of the losses in the second quarter, the fund remains deeply in the red for 2016. 

Nonetheless, Blackstone’s management appear confident in the strategy, with president Tony James saying during the company’s earnings conference call Thursday that he remains “very optimistic” about Senfina’s business model and that he expected it to carry higher volatility. 

Earlier this week, Blackstone reported a slight rise in net income and a record level of assets under management for the second quarter despite volatile markets worldwide during the period. The company is one of the world’s largest alternative asset managers, overseeing some $356 billion at the end of the second quarter across a wide array of global private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds.

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