After posting its worst-ever returns, clients of investing giant Renaissance Technologies have asked for $5 billion in redemptions since December and are poised to “yank another $1.65 billion this month,” according to a recent Bloomberg article.
“Billionaire Jim Simon’s firm, a quant-investing pioneer, is coming off a rough year,” the article reports, adding that its three public hedge funds reported double-digit losses in 2020 as their “algorithms were thrown out of whack by market swings the computers had never seen before” while its fund for employees soared by 76%.
In a client letter sent last September, Renaissance explained that its losses were due to being under-hedged during the March market collapse and then over-hedged during the April-June rebound when its trading models “overcompensated” for the market dip. The letter stated that despite its weak performance, the broader lesson is that “one should expect even good investments to perform horribly from time to time.”
Last month, Jim Simons announced that he is stepping down as chairman and will remain as a board member.