Blackfish Swimming In Red Ink

Oct 10 2008 | 2:00am ET

U.K.-based Blackfish Capital’s nascent long/short offering, the Exodus Fund, may trigger just that: The six-month old fund is down by double-digits through September.

Exodus, which invests in physical commodities and energy as well as currencies, retail stocks and housing names dropped 6.73% last month, bringing its year-to-date losses to 20.60%.

Portfolio manager Toby Birch said the fund, which held significant cash positions in August, went even further last month and liquidated a larger portion of its holdings. The remaining holdings consist of gold, base metals and agriculture, accounting for little more than 17% of net asset value.

“The sales were transacted the day before the spectacular rally when the bail-out was announced,” said Birch. “However, this risk aversion meant that we managed to avoid the month-end swoon, in what proved to be the 10th-worst sell-off for U.S. markets over the course of a century.” 

Though disappointed, Birch offered that the fund has survived.

“The same cannot be said for many leveraged funds investing in the commodity arena or for those whose assets are still locked up at Lehman Brothers, once one of the leading prime brokers for hedge funds,” he said. “There are rumors of a significant number of fund closures (running into hundreds) in what appears to be a Darwinian-style cleansing of the industry.”


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