Crispin Odey has several funds in his firm, Odey Asset Management, that have a habit of beating benchmark indices. Take Odey Absolute Return which gained 11.3 percent in Q1, squarely beating the 10.3 percent return on S&P 500 in the same period. Odey Absolute Return is managed by James Hanbury and Jamie Grimston and looks over $8o8 million. The fund ranked among the best performers of 2012 with a +36 percent return.
Compared to Odey’s star-studded performance in January and February, the fund added only a 1.3 percent return in March. Except for positive performance in the long portfolio, the fund lost in all of its other strategies including currency hedges and shorts in sovereign bonds. The fund has a short position in 10 year US government bond futures, one of the fund’s largest short allocations, and believes that the monetary easing from central banks in the past will eventually take a toll on yields.
Odey’s best performerslast month were long positions in Regus plc (LON:RGU), Playtech Ltd. (LON:PTEC), Ocado Group plc (LON:OCDO), United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE:UAL), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) and PolyOne Corporation (NYSE:POL) and shorts in China National Building Material Co. Ltd. (HKG:3323) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) (TSE:NM).
Investment in Regus plc (LON:RGU) benefited from a better than expected earnings for last year and future guidance for 2013. Odey owns over 5 percent of Regus according to a regulatory filing in January. Ocado Group plc (LON:OCDO) is a popular short position with investors like Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates, so it may not be working for him but Odey has gained from the position so far. Odey’s short in Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) (TSE:NM) is a constant theme with the hedge fund. The Australian mining company is involved in the exploration of gold and copper, both metals are surrounded by headwinds that have caused the stocks to underperform. Odey’s other shorts in the same sector include positions in Lonmin plc (LON:LMI) and Kazakhmys plc (LON:KAZ).
Odey Absolute Return added a long position in Man Group plc (LON:EMG) back in 2012. Odey considers Man Group very cheap, and the managers think the asset manager’s future looks bright with a current positive performance on the flagship AHL fund. Odey owns in excess of 5 percent voting rights of the asset manager. Man Group is a short position of Odey’s competing hedge funds like Marshall Wace and Lansdowne Partners.
According to Marketfolly, Odey added a position in EpiStem Holdings (LON:EHP), a holding company involved in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Odey has a position in 5.02 percent of EpiStem Holdings’ voting rights with Absolute Return’s portfolio manager James Hanbury owning 4.2 percent of the voting rights.