Jim Simons' RenTech fund has fielded over $5 billion of client withdrawals in under 10 weeks, report says

  • Renaissance Technologies has fielded over $5 billion in withdrawal requests in less than 10 weeks.
  • Jim Simons’ quantitative hedge fund posted double-digit losses in its three public funds in 2020.
  • However, RenTech’s flagship Medallion fund gained 76% last year.
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Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies has been hit by more than $5 billion in redemptions since December 1, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Simons, a former NSA codebreaker and MIT math professor, founded RenTech in 1982. The firm is now the world’s largest quantitative hedge fund with about $60 billion in client assets, and boasts one of the best track records on Wall Street.

Yet its clients withdrew a net $1.85 billion from its three public funds in December. They also asked to withdraw another $1.9 billion in January, and have requested $1.65 billion so far this month, Bloomberg said.

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RenTech’s investors are pulling their money after the firm’s international equities fund lost 19% in 2020, its institutional diversified alpha fund tumbled 32% over the same period, and its institutional diversified global equities fund slumped 31%.

The trio stomached those losses because they were underhedged when the pandemic tanked markets last spring, and overhedged when asset prices rebounded in the second quarter, RenTech told its clients in December.

Simons and his team bemoaned the “terrible” performance, but said that even the best investments occasionally perform “horribly,” Bloomberg said.

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In contrast, the firm’s flagship Medallion fund — which is only open to owners, employees, and their families — gained 76% last year, Institutional Investor reported last month. It has delivered average annual returns of about 40% since its launch in 1988.

Simons stepped down as RenTech’s chairman last month, but continues to serve as a board member.

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