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Renaissance Technologies Plummets In April

Date: Friday, May 15, 2009
Author: FINalternatives

Most hedge funds flourished in April. Renaissance Technologies took a bath.

The Long Island firm’s Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund lost between 8.33% and 9.47% last month, depending on the share class. The fund, RenTech’s largest, is now down between 16.86% and 17.61%, according to a letter to investors obtained by Dealbreaker.

RenTech founder James Simons blamed the “dismal performance” on the “high volatility rally,” which he assured investors “can hardly last forever.” And he reminded investors that the same strategy helped produce double-digit returns last year, when most hedge funds tanked.

“It is precisely this predilection of RIEF that helped us avoid much of last year's pain,” Simons wrote. “While our recent reversal has erased a large fraction of last year's relative gain, we are still ahead of the index, net of fees, by more than 9% on a 12-month rolling basis.”

RenTech is the world’s 10th-largest hedge fund, according to Alpha magazine, with $20 billion in assets under management.