BlueCrest Capital Management is spinning off its computer-driven hedge funds into a separate investment firm, just weeks after saying it would cut its management fees as assets drop.
The new firm, Systematica Investments, will be led by Leda Braga, BlueCrest's head of systematic trading, and manage the $8.3 billion in BlueTrend Fund and BlueTrend 2x Leveraged Fund, London-based BlueCrest said in a statement Friday.
BlueCrest's assets under management had slumped to $27.4 billion from a peak of $37.4 billion in May last year, according to an investor update. The BlueTrend funds reduced management fees to 1.5% from 2% earlier this month after assets tumbled in the past year.
The split will be easier for risk control, Ms. Braga said in a telephone interview. She said she and Michael Platt, co-founder and CEO, have “talked about this over a period, on and off, and the different reasons and in different contexts for doing it,” without elaborating.
BlueTrend gained about 9% in August, Ms. Braga said. The BlueTrend strategy had shrunk almost 50% from May of last year through Aug. 1 of this year and posted losses of 11.5% in 2013, its first annual decline since it was started a decade ago.
Ms. Braga will control Systematica, with BlueCrest retaining a minority stake. After the spinoff, BlueCrest will manage assets of $17.8 billion in its discretionary trading funds, BlueCrest Capital International and AllBlue. It will also manage a quantitative equity strategy in AllBlue, which will continue to invest in BlueTrend.
BlueCrest has agreed that it won't compete in computer-driven trading, Ms. Braga said.
The new firm will start in January with about 100 staffers based in Jersey, Geneva, Singapore, London and New York, according to the statement.
Among the pension funds that have invested in BlueTrend are the $180.7 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, $150 billion New York City Retirement Systems, $104.1 billion State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Madison, $50.4 billion Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System, Harrisburg, and $4.2 billion Colorado Fire & Police Pension Association, Greenwood Village.
Rob Kozlowski contributed to this story.