April 26, 2017 / 12:15 PM / 2 years ago

Exclusive - Schonfeld in talks to open UK office: sources

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Multibillion-dollar U.S. hedge fund investor Schonfeld Strategic Advisors is in preliminary talks to open an office in Britain to invest in more European money managers, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Representatives from Schonfeld, which mostly manages New York-area trading magnate Steven Schonfeld’s personal fortune, have been holding meetings in London over setting up a physical presence instead of just investing in local traders, two sources who had met with the company told Reuters. 

Schonfeld currently invests in stock-picking, or ‘equity’, hedge funds as well as computer-driven, or ‘quantitative’, strategies in London, using a so-called multi-manager strategy in which it selects and allocates cash to portfolio managers.

“London is an important market for us as evident by the six quantitative and three ... equity teams we back, and our interest in bringing on more teams,” said Ryan Tolkin, Chief Investment Officer of Schonfeld.

“We have not, however, made any decisions about Schonfeld’s presence in London, but continue to strategically evaluate our options.”

Schonfeld manages assets in excess of $13 billion, with leverage, as of Dec, 16, 2016, an increase of approximately 55 percent since Jan. 4, 2016. A spokesman declined to disclose the firm’s precise assets without leverage.

If the firm decides to proceed with an office in Britain, it will join 71 other U.S. hedge fund investors, including 67 based in London, according to data from industry tracker Preqin.

Schonfeld recently made offers to at least two portfolio managers with computer-driven strategies, said one of the sources, in line with some of its past investments.

The multibillion-dollar hedge fund investor last year backed new quant fund Masa Capital with $100 million. It backed other hedge funds in 2016, including Lucha Capital Management and Folger Hill Asset Management’s Asia business.

Last year, Schonfeld added seven equity and six computer-driven teams, bringing its total number of hedge fund managers to over fifty, according to its website.

The firm founded by Schonfeld - famed for earning $400,000 in 1988 and growing his portfolio exponentially over the past 29 years - started taking cash from outsiders from the start of 2016.

Reporting by Maiya Keidan; Editing by Mark Potter

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