CTAs Grow Despite a Downturn in May

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Commodity trading advisors-a subset of the hedge fund sector-are enjoying a heyday stateside, as well as in Europe and Canada. It's no surprise given the inflows into the entire hedge fund space. CTAs snagged $6 billion in March, making it the fourth straight month of inflows. Much of the inflow came from newly interested institutional investors.

The next big push for CTAs seems to be in Asia. Man Group, one of the largest players, is expanding their presence in Hong Kong, doubling the staff in their CTA operations there. The one worry going forward for Asian hedge funds is the numbers for May show losses eating into year-to-date gains, particularly on the CTA side. But the appetite for a CTA strategy in Asia won't be pushed aside quickly, given the big money push there as of late.

Principia Capital Advisors, for one, is said to be launching a $750 million hedge fund in Asia, purported to be the second largest hedge fund launch there this year. The starting strategy will lean to the CTA side. With expansions in and startups of Asian hedge funds, a wide array of job ops are expected to come on the developer, portfolio manager, fund marketer, IT support, and operations side, particularly in Hong Kong and Singapore.

For CTAs, the key money making spots are filled by industry seasoned math, physics, statistics, and econometrics PhDs with IT skills for quant analyst, researcher, modeling and trading positions. Pay is, obviously, in the form of a base plus a bonus based on performance. And that performance needs to be quick and good, as the space is well known for churn and burn.

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