Staff share £19m at 'Rottweiler' hedge fund

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AIRA-KATARIINA VEHASKARI A man pours a 200-year-old champagne, on November 17, 2010 in Mariehamn. Finnish officials pop the cork of a 200-year-old bottle of champagne, after 70 bottles of what is believed to be the world's oldest bubbly were discovered on July 2010 in a shipwreck, at a depth of fifty meters, southeast of Mariehamn, on the southwestern Finnnish Aaland Islands of the Baltic Sea. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Time to pop the champagne. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Thirteen partners at a hedge fund whose founder is nicknamed the “Rottweiler” shared £19.1m between them in 2018, according to recently filed accounts.

Profit available to be distributed to partners was up last year from £15.3m in 2017, accounts for Toscafund Asset Management filed with Companies House show. London-based Toscafund is one of the UK’s best-known hedge funds.

£14.2m of the £19.1m profit pool went to senior management. The biggest individual share of profits — thought to be given to founder Martin Hughes — was £8.6m.

The rise in profits doled out came as revenues and profits rose. Turnover rose by 3.4% to £35.9m and profits before payouts rose by 13% to £23.1m.

Toscafund did not immediately respond to Yahoo Finance UK’s request for comment.

Management said in the accounts that they were “satisfied” with the hedge fund’s performance in the year to December 2018.

“The growth in financial markets aided this performance but was not responsible for it; the growth in the funds under management being the result of the investment teams’ ability and diligence,” management wrote in the accounts.

“The members are confident that strong results will continue to be produced in subsequent years.”

The hedge fund said it doesn’t think Brexit “will have a material impact” because Toscafund doesn’t market its funds in Europe. Toscafund boss Hughes was a vocal supporter of Britain leaving the EU, saying before the 2016 referendum that Britain would be a “better place” after leaving.

Toscafund was founded in 2000 by Hughes, a former banking analyst. The fund pursues a number of investment strategies, but opera-lover Hughes has earned the nickname the “Rottweiler” for his vocal and tenacious activist investment strategies, typified by a public battle with management at Speedy Hire in 2016.

“We invest in companies in times of trouble and provide advisory support,” Hughes told the Evening Standard in 2013. “We take a long-term investment approach and work to achieve good corporate value.”

Toscafund enjoyed strong returns in its early years, but struggled during the financial crisis after betting on a recovery of banking and housing stocks. It has recovered in recent years and currently has around $4bn of assets under management.

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Oscar Williams-Grut covers banking, fintech, and finance for Yahoo Finance UK. Follow him on Twitter at @OscarWGrut.

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