Citadel's Flagship Hedge Fund Rallied 7% in April During Turmoil, Brings 2022 Returns to Nearly 13%

Mike Blake | Reuters

Billionaire investor Ken Griffin's hedge fund wowed the industry with big outperformance in April, overcoming a brutal market rout and extreme volatility.

Citadel's multistrategy flagship fund Wellington rallied 7.5% last month, bringing its year-to-date performance to 12.7%, according to a person familiar with the returns.

Griffin's other funds also outperformed significantly, with tactical trading and global fixed income funds up 3% each and its equity fund jumping more than 4% in April, the person said.

The standout performance came as the overall market suffered a steep sell-off on concerns about the Federal Reserve's aggressive tightening, Russia's invasion of Ukraine as well as surging inflation at a 40-year-high. The S&P 500 lost 8.8% in April, its worst month since March 2020 at the onset of the Covid pandemic.

Technology stocks were the epicenter of the April sell-off amid high interest rates and supply chain issues stemming from Covid-19. The Nasdaq Composite fell about 13.3% in April, its worst monthly performance since October 2008 in the throes of the financial crisis.

All five core investment strategies at Citadel — equities, commodities, global fixed income and macro, credit, and quantitative strategies — registered gains last month and are in the green for 2022, the person said.

Investors have been seeking downside protection amidst the volatility spike triggered by fears of inflation and rising rates as well as geopolitical tensions. The hedge fund industry attracted its largest inflows in seven years during the first quarter.

Citadel's asset under management exceeded $50 billion as of the start of May, the person said.

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