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Michael Platt, BlueCrest

Michael Platt tops Sunday Times hedge fund manager rich list


Michael Platt is the richest hedge fund manager in the City, according to the new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List, to be published this Sunday 13 May.

The 160-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine reveals the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain and is celebrating its 30th anniversary issue.
  
Platt (pictured), who co-founded Belgravia-based BlueCrest Capital Management with William Reeves back in 2003, has seen his net wealth grow by 25 per cent in the past year to stand at GBP3 billion. In December 2015, BlueCrest announced it was returning USD7 billion of clients’ money to focus on managing the USD1 billion assets of Platt and his partners. That move went well with BlueCrest recording a 50 per cent gain in 2016 and reports suggesting that it saw another 54 per cent increase last year as well. The investment firm continues to go from strength to strength and Platt sees the biggest wealth increase on this list, up GBP600 million.
 
Robert Miller and his daughter Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece and family are second on the list and also enjoy a significant wealth increase, to the value of GBP420 million. Miller, American-born but a British citizen, was the co-founder of the Hong Kong based Duty Free Shoppers (DFS) chain in 1960. The value of his 38.75 per cent stake in the company rocketed and it has over 157 million customers. Since 1974, his money has been managed by the family’s Hong Kong-based Search Investment Group. He has a London home and a 36,000-acre shooting estate in North Yorkshire.
 
Sir Michael Hintze ranks third among the richest hedge fund managers. Hintze is a noted philanthropist who has given GBP1 million in the past year to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and a significant sum to the Department of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford. The former captain in the Australian army also gave just under GBP350,000 to the Conservative Party. He can well afford to. His CQS hedge fund has GBP9 billion under management and saw the value of its main fund rise by more than 30 per cent last year. The Sunday Times puts Hintze’s own net gains at around GBP100 million last year, taking his overall wealth to GBP1.38 billion.
 
In stark contrast, David Harding, another of the philanthropic hedge fund managers, has seen profits at Winton Capital halve during 2017 to GBP107.3 million. A currency hedge between the dollar and sterling cost Winton GBP20.9 million but the fund has paid out at least GBP710 million of dividends in the past three years. Harding’s philanthropy has run to around GBP50m in recent years. Last year, he put more than GBP16 million into his two foundations, and he has put GBP20 million into the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, his alma mater and gifted a further GBP5 million to the Science Musuem. With all this in mind The Sunday Times Rich List now values Harding at GBP1 billion, down GBP300 million on last year.
 
Robert Watts, the Compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, says: “Hedgies barely featured in our first Sunday Times Rich List back in 1989. Now, in our 30th edition six of our billionaires made their fortunes in this world.
 
“The recent volatility of global stock markets has provided opportunities for the City’s richest hedgies to gild their wealth.
 
“But life as a billionaire hedge fund manager is not a one-way bet. Four big names of the hedge fund world have seen big falls in their wealth over the past year.
 
“Managers tend to invest heavily in their funds, so if their fund bombs so does their own wealth.”
 
Hedge Fund management remains an incredibly prosperous wealth opportunity with the top 20 on this list cumulatively worth over GBP16 billion.
 
Two Hedge Fund managers who are younger than most, Jonathan Hiscock, 44 and Ross Turner, 40, also make The Sunday Times’ Richest Hedge Fund Manager List.
 
Hiscock, an Oxford maths graduate who formed GSA Capital in 2005, is 17th on the list. He is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the company, managing research, trading, and risk for the various GSA funds. Today, the hedge fund manages GBP9 billion of assets.
 
Finally, Ross Turner outshone former bosses at Lansdowne Partners, co-founded by Sir Paul Ruddock, where he became the youngest partner in his twenties. He left in 2007 to launch London rival Pelham Capital. His main company showed GBP118.5 million profits in 2015-16 and he has paid at least GBP80 million in dividends for his 80 per cent-plus stake.

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