The British (hedge funders) are coming!

David Harding
Source: Winton Capital Management
David Harding

One of the largest British hedge funds is coming to the U.S. in hopes of managing more American dollars.

Winton Capital Group, the more than $25 billion firm led by David Harding, opened a New York office in June as part of a global expansion this year.

Stephen Stonberg, a senior consultant at the firm who recently joined from Credit Suisse Asset Management, is leading the American expansion. He is one of five staffers in Manhattan today; the team could expand to 10 or 15 people within the next year, according to a spokesman for the firm. Most U.S. employees will focus on marketing and investor relations in hopes of expanding Winton's client base of institutions such as pensions and endowments.

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"I am delighted that Stephen is joining Winton as we open our office in New York. His experience in such an important market will complement our expertise in scientific research and financial mathematics," Harding said in a statement.

Winton has traditionally focused on managed futures, an investment strategy that uses large amounts of data and computer algorithms to predict trends in the prices of commodities, stocks, and other asset classes.

Founded in 1997, Winton has about 305 employees, including 140 researchers in London, Oxford, Zurich and Hong Kong. The firm opened an office in Sydney earlier this year and plans to launch another in Tokyo by year-end. A spokesman for the firm said Winton has hired more than 30 people in 2014 and "dozens" more staffers are likely to join across the locations in the next year.

The flagship Winton Futures Fund is up 1.75 percent this year through June 1—a relatively good performance for a strategy that has lost money at many firms in recent years.

How top managed futures funds performed

Assets ($B)
2013 return
2014 YTD return
2014 date
Two Sigma Compass Cayman Fund 5000 14.07% 12.60% 31-May
Man AHL Diversified 9000 (all AHL) -3.10% 5.50% 31-May
Renaissance Institutional Futures Fund 1460 2.15% 4.89% 23-May
BlueCrest BlueTrend 9300 -11.50% 3.34% 31-May
Winton Futures Fund 10400 9.40% 1.75% 1-Jun
Newedge CTA Index Benchmark 0.73% 0.13% 31-May
Newedge Trend Index Benchmark 2.67% -1.96% 31-May
Graham Global Investment Fund 7300 (firm) 10.59% -2.98% 31-May
Campbell Global Assets 3000 12.58% -7.50% 30-May
Source: Hedge fund databases, reporting

Winton was the world's14th-largest hedge fund firm as of January, according to Alpha magazine. It is also the fourth-largest U.K.-based manager after Brevan Howard Asset Management, BlueCrest Capital Management and Man Group.

The firm has recently added two stock-focused retail investment funds to its lineup, the Winton European Equity Fund and the Winton U.S. Equity Fund.

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