Ex Quant Manager Takes On Hedge Fund

Terry Flanagan

Former Canadian quant manager takes on Florida hedge fund.

Arun Kaul, who co-founded Toronto-based Hillsdale Investment Management in 1996, has stepped up to managing principal and chief investment officer at Olympian Capital Management, a hedge fund and registered investment adviser in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He joined as a partner in September.

Michael Levas, founder and senior managing principal of Olympian Capital, will direct trading given Kaul’s new post.

“We met at a class sponsored by Harvard Business School, and became friends over the years,” Levas said of Kaul. “We connected over our philosophy on the markets and wondered why we weren’t doing this (investing) together.”

The firm is looking to expand into macro-global multi -asset strategies, adding to their stronghold as a long/short equity manager.

Yet, global macro strategies have had a disappointing year in 2011. According to the Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index, the strategy returned over -10 percent year-to-date.

Moreover, market participants question their performance going into 2012.

“Global macro funds underestimated the impact Europe, and in particular Greece, would have on global equity markets,” said David Friedland, president of Magnum Funds, a fund of hedge funds and president of the Hedge Fund Association.

For Kaul, the inclusion of global macro strategies is a part of growing Olympian to become a multi-strategy firm.

“We want to be able to have flexibility and be multi-strat,” Kaul told Markets Media, also highlighting the importance of widening Olympian’s distribution. “We’re also strengthening our private client channel by offering our portfolio through a separate managed account, which provides customization.”

Kaul was formerly chief investment officer at Hillsdale, managing over $500 million in institutional and private client assets. The firm is an institutional and alternative investment manager, and employs quantitative trading methods to invest in the equity markets, atop a foundation of fundamental research.

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