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Hedge Fund Winton Capital Plans U.S. Office

Winton Capital Management, the fourth largest European hedge fund by assets under management, is planning to open a U.S. office in the summer, according to people familiar with the matter. The move is part of a broader global expansion that could lead to the U.K.-based firm, which has nearly $25 billion in assets under management, opening offices in Japan and Australia.

Winton, in which Goldman Sach’s Petershill fund owns a 9.9% stake, is one of the pioneers of managed futures strategies, which employ complex computer models to spot trends in global markets. The hedge fund employs nearly 300 people, many of them employing statistical research and big data techniques to sift enormous amounts of information.

Winton’s U.S. office will be based in New York and will initially only house a handful of marketing staff, including some who will relocate from other offices. As well as in London, the firm already has offices in Oxford, Hong Kong (which opened in 2009) and Zurich (which opened in 2012).

Managed futures hedge funds have suffered poor performance in recent times partly because of a lack of clear trends in the market. This phenomenon is often attributed to the high degree of central bank intervention. The Newedge CTA index, which broadly tracks these firms, gained only 0.72% last year having fallen 2.87% in 2012 and 4.45% in 2011. However, Winton Capital’s flagship $10 billion Winton Futures Funds gained 9.5% net of fees last year.

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