Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin trounced rival Steve Cohen in 2019 with a 19% return, but both underperformed the stock market
- Ken Griffin's Citadel posted a 19.4% return in 2019, beating out industry rival Steve Cohen's Point72 fund and its 16% gain, Bloomberg reported.
- Both offices, and the greater hedge fund industry, still lagged behind a soaring US stock market. The S&P 500 notched a 29% return last year, its best annual performance since 2013.
- Griffin and Cohen's rivalry extended beyond traditional fund competition in 2019. At least five of Point72's portfolio managers left the firm for Citadel throughout the year, The Wall Street Journal reported in July.
- Cohen reportedly refused to shake one portfolio manager's hand after he took a job at Griffin's fund.
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Ken Griffin's Citadel posted a 19.4% return in 2019 with its primary multistrategy hedge fund, beating out industry rivals including Steve Cohen's Point72, Bloomberg reported Tuesday night.
Cohen's fund returned about 16% over the year, sources familiar said. Both firms outperformed the hedge fund sector's 9% gain in 2019, according to Bloomberg's Hedge Fund Indices. The offices still lagged behind the greater US stock market, as the S&P 500 notched a 29% return, its best annual performance since 2013.
Citadel's Wellington fund secured gains across all five of its strategies and outperformed peers throughout most of 2019, Bloomberg reported. The firm returned all of last year's profits to its investors, paying out more than $2 billion.
Tensions between Griffin and Cohen extended beyond traditional fund competitiveness in 2019. At least five of Point72's portfolio managers left the firm for Citadel through the year, The Wall Street Journal reported in July. The departures upset Cohen, sources told The Journal, and the fund manager reportedly refused to shake one portfolio manager's hand when he revealed he took a job at Griffin's fund.
About 20 portfolio managers in total left Point72 last year, The Journal reported.
Point72 is Cohen's second foray into the hedge fund industry following the closure of SAC Capital in 2016. The first firm was among the most profitable hedge funds in the US before it pleaded guilty to an insider trading scheme in November 2013 and paid $1.8 billion in penalties.
SAC was also known as one of the nation's highest-paying funds, former employees told The Journal, saying that Point72's pay isn't as high compared to Cohen's first firm. Cohen expressed surprise at Citadel's compensation packages and looked for ways to boost payment at Point72, sources familiar told The Journal in July.
Multistrategy funds aim to outperform individual markets by trading stocks, bonds, currencies, and even interest rates. Most investment vehicles appreciated through the 12-month period, including oil, gold, and bitcoin.
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