Hedge star Hintze’s fund lifted by right calls on Trump and oil

Michael Bow
Sir Michael Hintze abseiling for charity: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

One of London’s best-known investors, Sir Michael Hintze, saw profits rise at his CQS hedge fund last year after an upswing in performance.

The billionaire chief, a former captain in the Australian Army, said total income at CQS Management jumped almost 50% to $245 million (£185 million) after making the right calls on oil-market turmoil and the market swings following the election of President Donald Trump.

The company’s flagship Directional Opportunities fund, managed by Hintze, rose 30.5% last year, making it one of the best-performing hedge funds in the world last year.

That helped drive pre-tax profit up to $120 million from $39 million last year, according to filings released yesterday, with the company paying $20 million in tax up from $5 million.

Hedge funds typically earn performance fees, which drive revenues, when funds clear certain targets.

The dividend paid to CQS' Luxembourg based holding company controlled by Hintze was $67 million, down from $76 million last year.

CQS, which declined to comment on the accounts, runs about $12 billion from offices in London, Hong Kong, New York, Jersey and Sydney.

Staff numbers were down to 144 from 160 at its UK investment partnership as of March, as the company seeks to streamline its operations.

Hintze last month warned investors the populism that had propelled Trump to power could lead to instability in regions such as South Africa and Turkey.

He also said that other issues like North Korea’s nuclear ambitions added “layers” of complexity which could unsettle markets.