Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates and Marc Lasry’s Avenue Capital are busy adding new funds to their already booming empires. Wall Street Journal reports that Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, informed its investors that the firm will add a new hedge fund, All Weather Major Markets, to its portfolio in the running year. The All Weather Major Markets will serve as an offshoot of the $65 billion All Weather Fund and will prevent it from becoming oversized.
In a separate development, Marc Lasry announced a new fund dedicated to distressed debt investments in Europe. This newly launched fund attempts to raise $500 million as a seed investment. This is in addition to the $2.78 billion which Avenue Capital raised last year to invest in European assets. The recent move is in line with many other hedge funds, who are spreading their assets in several eurozone countries like, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
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Last year, Lasry said in an interview with Bloomberg that, “the great thing about Europe today is you’ve got a huge amount of supply and very little demand.” Lasry also said that as compared to US, one gets overpaid for taking risk in Europe. The yields on debt are much higher in eurozone, which compensates for the greater risk. The firm manages more than $12 billion in assets and had about $3.9 billion of this allocated in European investments by the end of 2012.
Bridgewater’s All Weather fund returned 16 percent net fees in 2012, which was much better than what Bridgewater’s flagship fund, Pure Alpha, returned. Pure Alpha funds were up in the range of 0.6 percent in 2012. The Pure Alpha funds also own Pure Alpha Major Markets strategy, which returned 4-6.9 percent in 2012. We have information that both All Weather and Pure Alpha were up 1 percent in the month of January.
Ray Dalio’s All Weather strategy, as the name indicates, attempts to weather all storms and return despite the unfavorable conditions. Bridgewater’s latest investor letter also mentions that the firm sold a passive stake to an outside buyer. There is no information as to the identity of the buyer or the amount of the transaction. From previous reports, The Teacher Retirement System of Texas and Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System are some of the outside investors of Bridgewater. Bridgewater manages more that $141 billion.