CQS head Michael Hintze's predictions for 2015

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.'


Crispin Odey issues warning about possible stock market plunge

Hedge fund manager Crispin Odey has issued a stark warning about a possible stock market plunge that will be "remembered in a hundred years."

Read more from The Guardian:

One of the UK’s most successful hedge-fund managers has issued a stark warning that the global economy faces a downturn that will be “remembered in a hundred years” and leave stock markets facing devastation.

Crispin Odey, best known for anticipating that banks would go bust in 2008, made his gloomy predictions in a missive to clients of his Odey Asset Management business in which he warns that the European Central Bank’s €1.1tn (£730bn) bond-buying programme announced last week will not stave off a slump.

He is not only pessimistic about the firepower of the central bank to inject life in to moribund eurozone markets but also about China, where recent data showed growth had slowed to 7.4%.

Acknowledging he is gloomier than rivals, Odey said: “This down cycle is likely to be remembered in a hundred years … Sadly this down cycle will cause a great deal of damage, precisely because it will happen despite the efforts of central banks to thwart it.”

Meet the most powerful woman in hedge funds

From CNBC:

Leda Braga formally started Systematica Investments this month after years under prominent European hedge fund firm BlueCrest Capital Management. Geneva-based Braga manages the same amount she ran at BlueCrest, $8.5 billion, easily making her the most powerful female hedge fund manager in the world in charge of her own shop...

Braga, 48, has quickly risen to elite status in the hedge fund world.

Brazilian by birth, Braga got a Ph.D. in engineering from Imperial College London, where she also lectured. She then worked at JPMorgan Chase as a quantitative analyst on the derivatives research team, according to firm materials. At JPMorgan, Braga was a colleague of Michael Platt, who founded BlueCrest in 2000. After a stint at JPMorgan spinoff Cygnifi Derivatives Services, Braga joined BlueCrest in 2001.

Keep reading on the CNBC website.