BlackRock has nearly finished closing its global macro hedge fund and returning money to investors.
“We believe that redeeming the (BlackRock) Global Ascent Fund was the right thing to do for our clients, given the headwinds that macro funds have faced,” BlackRock officials said in a statement provided by spokeswoman Olivia Offner.
Those “headwinds” pushed the hedge fund sharply into negative territory: Its year-to-date return as of Oct. 31 was -9.4%.
“An overwhelming majority of the (hedge fund’s) positions have been closed out and converted to cash,” according to the firm’s statement. The fund’s assets were less than $1 billion as of Nov. 1.
The BlackRock Global Ascent Fund managed $4.6 billion as recently as two years ago for a client list that included prominent institutional investors, such as the $45.8 billion Maryland State Retirement & Pension System, Baltimore, which redeemed a $350 million investment; the $2.1 billion Fort Worth (Texas) Employees’ Retirement Fund, which redeemed its $12.5 million investment; and the $8.3 billion Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, Phoenix, which redeemed its $50 million investment.
BlackRock said in its memo that “a number of Global Ascent professionals will join other investment teams within the firm.”
Closing funds is fairly commonplace at BlackRock.
“Reflecting our fiduciary ethos, BlackRock regularly reviews its product set to ensure alignment with client interests. Over the past several years, we have closed, on average, over 200 funds a year,” the company statement said.