Landsdowne Partners Dips in January on BT Group Slide

Feb 17 2017 | 5:57pm ET

Despite performance gains in broad hedge fund benchmarks since the start of the year, London-based Landsdowne Partners was down again in January after ending 2016 with a significant loss. 

The slide last month was primarily due to a drop in BT Group, according to a Reuters article citing an investor letter. BT Group shares have plummeted in the last few weeks amid news its Italian subsidiary is being investigated for accounting concerns and profit warnings. 

Lansdowne’s flagship $9.4 billion Developed Markets Fund lost 14.9% last year, the article said, and fell a further 2.9% in January. In comparison, the benchmark HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index gained 2.5% in 2016 and 0.50% in January.

Beyond BT Group, which reportedly trimmed 1.3% from the fund’s return, positions that weighed heavily on Landsdowne’s January performance included Inmarsat, the company said. On the other hand, returns were helped by long positions in Comcast, Amazon and Facebook.

Founded in 1998, Lansdowne is one of the largest and best-known London-based hedge fund managers. As of January 2017, it had more than $18 billion in assets under management for a diversified client base that includes some of the world's largest and most sophisticated investors.

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