April 18, 2013 / 11:12 PM / 6 years ago

Howard tops hedge fund rich list as wealth hits 1.5 billion pounds

LONDON (Reuters) - Star trader Alan Howard has cemented his place as the wealthiest hedge fund manager in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List with a jump in his net worth, after further profits from his main hedge fund.

The Switzerland-based Howard, co-founder of Brevan Howard and one of the industry’s most media-shy managers, grew his total wealth by 100 million pounds to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.29 billion), according to the Sunday Times Hedge Fund Rich List.

Howard, 49, has benefited from an 18 percent jump in assets at Brevan - one of the world’s biggest hedge fund managers - to $40 billion since the end of 2011, boosted by investment gains and client inflows.

The former Credit Suisse trader’s $28 billion Master fund, which has never had a down year and is one of the most sought-after funds among investors, is up 6 percent so far this year.

Among the biggest gainers was Australian Michael Hintze, founder of hedge fund firm CQS and a donor to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. His fortune jumped 55 percent to 900 million pounds after his CQS Directional Opportunities fund was one of 2012’s star performers, gaining 36 percent.

The survey shows the top 10 managers added almost $1.5 billion to their fortunes since last year, although that excludes Sail Advisors’ Robert Miller, ranked second in last year’s list with a 955 million pound fortune, who has been reclassified out of this year’s hedge fund rich list.

The jump in top managers’ wealth comes in spite of a lackluster year for hedge funds in general. The average fund gained 6.4 percent in 2012, according to Hedge Fund Research, lagging a 16 percent total return from the S&P.

Also on the rich list rise was Mike Platt, co-founder of BlueCrest Capital and a keen patron of the art world, whose wealth jumped by almost 50 percent to 950 million pounds, ranking him third in the list.

BlueCrest’s overall assets grew by around $6 billion to $35 billion, helped by a 5.8 percent performance gain from Platt’s BlueCrest Capital International fund in 2012.

Alex Knaster, founder of Pamplona Capital, based on London’s exclusive Park Lane, saw his wealth rise by almost a quarter to nearly 1.1 billion pounds to rank him second.

However, David Harding, who ranked third in last year’s list, saw his wealth drop by 100 million pounds to 700 million pounds. Reuters revealed in February that clients had withdrawn $1 billion from his firm, Winton Capital.

But Ewan Kirk, whose Cantab Capital Partners is a rival to Winton and whose assets have soared to $5.3 billion from $1.6 billion at the end of 2011, is a new entrant in 15th spot with a 280 million pound fortune.

Editing by Mark Heinrich

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