Nov 11, 2021
Hedge Fund Perma Bear Clark Shuts Down Amid Historic Bull Market
(Bloomberg) -- The longest running bull market in history has claimed one of its most high-profile victims.
Russell Clark, who has wagered against stocks for much of the last decade, told clients that he is shutting down his eponymous hedge fund after a run of losses. The RC Global Fund he has managed since 2010 lost 2.6% through October this year and was down to about $200 million in assets from about $1.7 billion in 2015, according to investor documents seen by Bloomberg.
The closure marks an end to yet another bearish hedge fund manager’s fund as stocks continue to march ahead. Clark, who uses macro economic analysis to bet on stocks, is among a series of long-short equity hedge fund managers who have fallen way behind surging markets and have suffered investors exodus.
Clark called it “time to step back, have a think about where we are going, and then come back when I can see an opportunity for my skill set,” he wrote in a letter that investors received on Thursday. “The only constant in life is change.”
Clark declined to comment beyond the letter.
The end of Clark’s fund is a contrasting echo to how his investing career began more than two decades ago. As a graduate trainee at UBS Group AG in Sydney, he followed friends getting rich by day-trading tech stocks in 2000 and spent his first few paychecks on five dot-com shares. Four crashed to zero, and the fifth lost half its value as the tech bubble burst.
This time, a short wager on tech stocks was his latest contrarian bet. Clark told clients earlier this year that he was betting against technology shares as regulators from the U.S. to China crack down on the industry. Tech stocks as measured by NASDAQ Composite Index have been on a tear ever since.
Clark had been net short equities for the vast majority of the last nine years. He has faced a difficult period of performance and capital raising, and his firm -- previously named Horseman Capital Management -- shuttered two funds.
Born and raised in Canberra, Australia, Clark bought the controlling interest in Horseman in 2019. He had joined Horseman in 2006 and started running the firm’s flagship fund in 2010 when John Horseman, a highly successful global stock fund manager in the 1990s, retired.
Clark, who runs his investment firm from his office inside a small house in a quiet mews near Buckingham Palace Gardens in London, had said in 2019 that he was convinced that a stock market crash was near. Or, he told Bloomberg in rare public remarks, “this could be my farewell interview.” The S&P 500 Index hit a record on Monday.
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