AfricaHedge Awards 2007

Gala event rewards the leading players after a tumultuous year

At the second South AfricaHedge Awards, the local hedge fund industry gathered in Cape Town to recognise the top funds, with Praesidium and Mazi Visio taking double honours


The impressive turnout at the second annual South AfricaHedge Awards, held on the evening of 6 December at The Westin Grand Arabella Quays in central Cape Town, is testament to the growing stature of this event in the South African hedge fund community, which turned out again in force to celebrate the best-performing funds in 2007.













The South AfricaHedge Awards dinner at The Westin Grand Arabella Quays, Cape Town

More than 270 people attended a glittering gala evening, gathering in style for drinks and canapés before dinner, accompanied by a swing band. The event's positioning, at the end of the calendar year, lends a festive end-of-year feel to the evening – with fellow hedge fund managers, investors, service providers, and spouses joining to celebrate the top achievers of the year in the South African hedge fund space.
The coveted Fund of the Year award went to Praesidium SA Hedge, the long/short equity strategy run by Mike Beamish, Greg Bergh and St John Bungey at Praesidium Capital in Tokai, Cape Town, which had a spectacular year achieving a phenomenal return of 67.87% on a Sharpe ratio of 4.24.
The fund, which has substantial assets of just more than $55 million, also won the award for best Long/Short Equity Fund, the biggest category in the South AfricaHedge league tables.
Double honours were bestowed on another fund – the Mazi Visio fund, a joint venture between Malungelo Zilimbola's Mazi Capital and the Visio Capital team, headed by Patrice Moyal, which won the award for Best New Fund. Mazi Visio also netted the award for the best fund in the Market Neutral and Quantitative category. The fund, which launched in November 2006, gained 51.01% for the period on a Sharpe of 4.18.
Other winners on the night were KADD Capital's Validus Fund, which prevailed in the Fixed Income category (return 26.48%, Sharpe 4.52); BlueBay Mayflower which took the honours in Multi-Strategy (return 42.31%, Sharpe 4.35) and Iconic Matador, the fund of funds run by Edge Capital, which took home the award for Best Fund of Funds with a return of 32.23% on a Sharpe ratio of 5.03.
The awards are based on risk-adjusted returns for the 12 months to the end of October 2007 (September in the case of funds of funds). Funds needed a minimum of $5 million to qualify for a nomination, and the award went to the fund with the highest return, provided its Sharpe ratio was within 25% of the top Sharpe in the category.
After all the focus on manager performance and fund returns, the evening drew to a close with an award decided purely on qualitative credentials.
Those who attended last year's dinner will recall the final trophy of the evening -– a special charity award presented by Kevin Gundle of Aurum Funds. Gundle chose to continue that tradition this year – presenting an award for $10,000 to the Vrygrond Community Development Trust. Trust chairman Jonathan Schrire was present to accept it, thanking Aurum for their ongoing support and detailing the efforts the trust is making to build a school in their impoverished community near Muizenberg, on the False Bay coast.
Gundle outlined some of the activities of ARK, or Absolute Return for Kids, the charity funded chiefly by the European hedge fund community of which he is a founder member. He had earlier in the day presented ARK South Africa with a R41 million in-kind donation for the year ahead, which will fund a team of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers providing anti-retroviral drugs to HIV-positive South Africans. ARK has already allocated R295 million to South African initiatives. 
After another successful celebration, HedgeFund Intelligence would like to thank all the sponsors for helping to make the South AfricaHedge Awards a resounding success, and to all those who attended for contributing to the evening's celebratory mood in what has become a must-attend fixture in the hedge fund calendar.
We look forward to another 12 months of hard work ahead of the next South AfricaHedge Awards in December 2008.


Nominees: Cadiz Sapphire, Fairtree Exchequer, Investec IEB Absolute Return, Mazi Visio, Salient Quants
Presented by Investec Prime Broking
This category brought some strong contenders, including a nomination for one of the country's few pure quantitative funds – the Salient Quants fund run by professor Paul van Rensburg, which delivered 31.89% for the period on a Sharpe ratio of 3.79.
Cadiz Sapphire, managed by Arno van Wyngaarden and Nick Middelman at Storm Capital, delivered another strong performance, rising 17.81% with a Sharpe ratio of 1.98.
Werner Prinsloo's Fairtree Exchequer fund also fared well, earning its nomination with a gain of 16.01% on a Sharpe of 1.58.
The Investec IEB Absolute Return fund produced the second-highest return for the category, delivering 39.19% on a Sharpe of 2.07 – a standout success for Peter Armitage and his team at Investec Private Client Securities.
But the obvious winner was another of the newer funds – the Mazi Visio fund, which gained 51.01% on a Sharpe ratio of 4.18. The fund is run as a joint venture between Malungelo Zilimbola at Mazi Capital and Patrice Moyal's Visio Capital.










Malungelo Zilimbola received the Market Neutral and Quantitative Award for the Mazi Visio joint venture

WINNER: Mazi Visio
Manager: Malungelo Zilimbola
Performance (Nov 06 – Oct 07): 51.01%
Sharpe ratio: 4.18
Nominees: Coronation Granite Fixed Income, GEN-X Fixed Income, RMBAM Proton Fund, South Easter Fixed Interest, Validus Alternative
Presented by Rand Merchant Bank

The Fixed Income category has grown substantially since last year's awards, with a greater variety of strategies catering to differing risk-return objectives.
Last year's winner Coronation Granite Fixed Income, run by Mark le Roux, returned 10.38% on a Sharpe of 0.70. The fund, the longest-running fixed income fund in the South AfricaHedge tables and the biggest, has a conservative mandate.
South Easter, GEN-X Fixed Income and RMBAM Proton all delivered double-digit returns for the period. South Easter, run by Allistair Sellick and Barry Ross at PSG Absolute Investments, gained a solid 17.89% on a Sharpe of 2.10, while Paul Crawford's RMBAM Proton Fund gained 13.44% (Sharpe 1.24) and GEN-X Fixed Income, managed by Bruce Simpson and Johan Kurtz at Sanlam Investment Management, delivered 15.94% on a Sharpe of 1.90.
Despite the very credible competition, the award went to a newcomer to the South AfricaHedge tables. KADD Capital's Validus Fund gained more than 25% with the highest Sharpe in the category. 










The Fixed Income Award went to Danie Gouws (left) and Kevin Pretorius (right) of KADD Capital for their Validus fund
WINNER: Validus
Managers: Danie Gouws, David Hancock, Kevin Pretorius
Performance (Nov 06 – Oct 07): 26.48%
Sharpe ratio: 4.52
Nominees: 36ONE, Cadiz Emerald, Investec IEB High Growth, Oakmont, Praesidium
Presented by Credit Suisse Standard Securities
The biggest, and therefore arguably the most closely contested, category in the South AfricaHedge awards is long/short equity.
Kyle Hulett's Cadiz Emerald, one of the youngest contenders, earned a nomination with a return of 38.34% on a Sharpe of 3.55. On the other end of the spectrum, the Oakmont fund, one of the longest-running strategies and also one of the biggest funds, advised by the Peregrine Capital team on the Peregrine Investment Managers platform, delivered 39.41% on a Sharpe of 3.73.
36ONE, run by Cy Jacobs, Steve Liptz and team, delivered another knockout return for the second year, with a 12-month performance of 50.50% on a Sharpe of 4.09.
Performance was neck and neck at the top end of the category – with less than a percent separating Praesidium SA Hedge and Investec IEB High Growth, although a bigger dispersion in Sharpe ratio. The Investec fund, managed by Peter Armitage at Investec Private Client Securities, returned 67.76% on a Sharpe of 2.73, edged out by Praesidium, which had a stellar 12 months delivering the highest return and also the highest Sharpe ratio.
WINNER: Praesidium SA Hedge
Managers: Mike Beamish, Greg Bergh, St John Bungey
Performance (Nov 06 – Oct 07): 67.87%
Sharpe ratio: 4.24
Nominees: Aeon Multi-Strategy, Clear Horizon Multi-Strategy, BlueBay Mayflower, Mergence Africa
Presented by Cadiz
Multi-strategy is a fast-developing category in the South African hedge fund space, with some quality contenders. 
The Mergence Africa Hedge Fund, managed by Masimo Magerman, had a solid year, gaining 23.99% on a Sharpe of 1.97; while Asief Mohamed's Aeon Multi-Strategy fund clocked a 36.61% return on a Sharpe of 2.47.
 Clear Horizon, winner of last year's award, had another strong 12 months, gaining 40.29% on a Sharpe of 1.83.
The award went to the fund with the highest return, the best Sharpe and also the biggest assets under management – Mayflower, managed by Uys Meyer, Richard Pitt and the BlueBay team.




Richard Pitt collected the Multi-Strategy Award for Mayflower

WINNER:  Mayflower
Managers: Uys Meyer, Richard Pitt
Performance (Nov 06 – Oct 07): 42.31%
Sharpe ratio: 4.35
Nominees: BoE Alpha, i capital Nitrogen, Mazi Visio, Praesidium Structured Finance, Salient Quants
Presented by Investec Capital Markets
The award for best new fund offers an insight into some of the exciting new strategies emerging. Funds launched in the 15 months since July 2006 were open for consideration.
Salient Quants, running since August 2006, received its second nomination, adding to one in the Market Neutral and Quantitative category. Managed by Professor Paul van Rensburg, the quantitative fund rose 31.89% on a Sharpe of 3.79.
The BoE Alpha fund, which launched in January 2007 and is advised by Annatjie van Rooyen at BoE in conjunction with Sean Katz and Gary Abrahams at Katzgold, rose 34.35% over the period on a Sharpe of 1.84.
The Praesidium Structured Finance Fund, an event-driven strategy run by St John Bungey, Mike Beamish and Greg Bergh that launched in December 2006, gained 33.96% with a Sharpe of 3.89.
Flying the flag in the long/short equity category was the i capital Nitrogen Fund, managed by Lance and Rowan Williams at i capital, with a return of 33.16% on a Sharpe of 2.95. The fund launched in August 2006.
Ultimately the award went to Mazi Visio, which also won in the Market-Neutral and Quantitative category. Launching in November 2006 as a JV between Malungelo Zilimbola's Mazi Capital and the established Visio Capital, headed by Patrice Moyal, the fund had an impressive return of more than 50% in the 12-month period.
WINNER: Mazi Visio
Manager: Malungelo Zilimbola
Performance (Nov 06 – Oct 07): 51.01%
Sharpe ratio: 4.18
Nominees: Alpha Opportunistic, Blue Ink Redwood, Blue Ink Blue Sky, Iconic Matador, Legae Cluster, Legae Supernova
Presented by ABSA Capital
True to form, the fund of funds category was again very closely contested.
Alpha Opportunistic, advised by Alpha Asset Management, earned a nomination with a 12-month return of 27.8% on a Sharpe of 4.21.
Last year's winners, the Blue Ink investment team, which advises on the Blue Ink and Legae Capital portfolios, earned an impressive four nominations, showing its consistency in managing a variety of products across different risk-return spectrums.
It came down to a matter of percentage points at the finish – but this time Blue Ink was eventually pipped at the post for the award by Edge Capital, whose Iconic Matador narrowly beat last year's winner Legae Supernova. Supernova returned 32.15% (Sharpe ratio 4.79) for the 12 months to the end of September, while Iconic Matador returned 32.23% (Sharpe 5.03).










Murray Todd from Edge Capital took the Fund of Funds Award for the Iconic Matador fund

WINNER: Iconic Matador
Lead manager: Murray Todd
Performance (Oct 06 – Sept 07): 32.23%
Sharpe ratio: 5.03
Fund of the Year
Nominees: 36ONE, BlueBay Mayflower, Investec IEB High Growth, Mazi Visio, Praesidium SA Hedge
Presented by Maitland
The Fund of the Year category looks across the league tables at a variety of strategies to find the fund with the most impressive risk-adjusted return over 12 months.
All the nominees, announced on the night, returned in excess of 40% on very healthy Sharpe ratios and sizeable assets, included three long/short funds, a market-neutral fund and a multi-strategy fund.
BlueBay Mayflower, the multi-strategy fund headed by Uys Meyer and Richard Pitt, achieved 42.31% on a Sharpe of 4.35 on sizeable assets of almost $150 million.
Investec IEB High Growth achieved the second highest return for the year, gaining 67.76% on a Sharpe of 2.73. The fund is managed by Peter Armitage and his team at Investec Private Client Securities, who were a force to reckon with in the league tables during the year and earned a total of three nominations – in the long/short category for this fund and also with their lower-risk market-neutral offering, the Investec IEB Absolute Return fund.
The 36ONE team, headed by Cy Jacobs, had another excellent year, earning a Fund of the Year nomination for the second consecutive year with a return of more than 50% and a Sharpe of 4.09.
Mazi Visio's impressive record made it one of only two funds to earn three nominations on the night, delivering 51.01% on a Sharpe of 4.18.
In the end the award went to the Praesidium SA Hedge Fund, which also took the honours in Long/Short Equity. Mike Beamish, Greg Bergh and St John Bungey proved unbeatable in 2007, clocking up consistently good performance in often tricky conditions to take the top accolade.











The Praesidium team, (from left) Greg Bergh, St John Bungey and Mike Beamish, added the Fund of the Year Award for the Praesidium SA Hedge fund to their Long/Short Equity win
WINNER: Praesidium SA Hedge
Managers: Mike Beamish, Greg Bergh,
St John Bungey
Performance (Nov 06 – Oct 07): 67.87%
Sharpe ratio: 4.24




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Thu 06 Dec 2007

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