Bloomberg – Ken Griffin started trading convertible bonds 22 years ago from his Harvard University dorm room. Now he’s moving away from the investments that made him a billionaire hedge-fund manager — and unraveled last year, leaving clients with a 55 percent loss, almost three times the industry average.
Citadel Investment Group LLC, Griffin’s $13.5 billion firm, is reducing its two biggest funds’ holdings of convertible bonds and other so-called relative-value trades that try to profit from small price differences in related securities, and amplify the gains with debt. At last year’s peak in May, the firm used borrowings of nine times net assets to hold $145 billion in gross assets. That was triple the average leverage ratio of hedge funds, according to a report from JPMorgan Chase & Co.