– Everest Macro Hedge Fund Blows Up After Nearly $1 BIllion In Swiss Franc Losses (ZeroHedge, Jan 17, 2015):
Yesterday, when we got the first news of huge P&L losses at various publicly-traded banks not to mention the collapse of several retail brokers culminating with the bailout of FXCM by Jefferies, we reminded that seconds after the SNB shocker, we tweeted what was quite obvious to anyone who realized that speculators were most short the CHF since the summer of 2013:
The SNB just blew up countless macro hedge funds
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 15, 2015
We also added that “We have yet to find out just which hedge funds were blown up yesterday”, for the simple reason that unlike public banks who have an obligation to reveal news, especially bad, to their shareholders, hedge funds PMs hope to avoid the LP firing squad until the last second. Alas, there is only so long that the day of reckoning can be delayed. One such fund is the Everest Capital Global macro fund, which went from just shy of a billion to zero in milliseconds as a result of a near wipe out due to a massive CHF-short position. Bloomberg reports:
Marko Dimitrijevic, the hedge fund manager who survived at least five emerging market debt crises, is closing his largest hedge fund after losing virtually all its money this week when the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly let the franc trade freely against the euro, according to a person familiar with the firm.
Everest Capital’s Global Fund had about $830 million in assets as of the end of December, according to a client report. The Miami-based firm, which specializes in emerging markets, still manages seven funds with about $2.2 billion in assets. The global fund, the firm’s oldest, was betting the Swiss franc would decline, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information is private.
Everest grew to $2.7 billion by the start of 1998 after navigating crises in Mexico and Southeast Asia. Russia’s default and currency devaluation proved trickier and assets fell by half amid losses. He revived the firm and a decade later Everest managed $3 billion. Then the global financial crisis hit, and assets shrunk by $1 billion.
Last year, the main fund rose 14.1 percent, driven by Chinese equities and bets against currencies, including a wager that the Swiss franc would fall after citizens rejected a referendum that would require the central bank to hold at least 20 percent of its assets in gold, the investor report said.
In other words, Dimitrijevic survived the vagaries of extremely volatile markets for over 15 years, and even flourished, yet all it took to destroy him was one decision by a conference room full of central-planners who were confident they knew better than the market for the second time in 3.5 years. Ironic.
One thing is certain: it is not just the former Yugoslav who feels as if he has fallen off the top of Everest this weekend, many other funds are too. Here is who else has been named so far according to the WSJ:
Other hedge funds that have suffered amid the Swiss turmoil, according to people familiar with the situation, are Discovery Capital Management LLC, a South Norwalk, Conn. firm that manages $14.7 billion, and Comac Capital LLP, which oversees $1.2 billion in London.
Expect to learn of more casualties from the historic move in the coming days, and certainly once other banks follow in the footsteps of the Swiss central bank, and like the Pied Piper, lead all those “sophisticated investors” who were merely frontrunning and trading alongside central banks on massive leverage pretending they were generating alpha, right off the edge of the cliff.