The Daily Mail's Alex Brummer interviewed CQS founder Sir Michael Hintze about his predictions for 2015. Here are some highlights:
I had come to see Hintze for some 2015 advice because of his skill in seeing ahead, both the short-term and the long-term. When we had lunch at his offices in early 2008 he brought along his credit analyst who was doing the job that the City regulators singularly failed to do.
He had analysed some of the US mortgage and other dodgy assets sitting on the balance sheets of the UK retail banks and found that they were nearly worthless, valuing them at a few pence to the pound meaning that if they were marked to market, or valued at their real worth, then they were effectively kaput.
Such analysis meant that Hintze and his group of funds CQS had a better crisis than most.
Is he simply smarter than all the rest? He answers that question with one of his own.
'How do you get alpha? How do you create value? One of the things is you just nick it,' he says, referring to the convicted hedge fund swindler Raj Rajaratnam of the Galleon fund in New York.
'That is what those guys are doing, they’re nicking information.
'The other guys work bloody hard. You look at it statistically, you look at things closely, you do the work.
'You take the noise and put it in data information knowledge and you get insight from that knowledge. How to execute the trade, the timing, sizing, long, short and then you risk manage it.' That is the CQS approach.
'I am not sure that I am that smart,’ Hintze says. 'I think we work harder. When I was at university there were a lot of smarter people than me, and they seem not to have done quite so well.'