Fairtree Portfolio Manager - Jean Pierre Verster

Two Fairtree hedge funds won in their nominated categories in the 10th Hedge News Africa Awards held in Cape Town last week.

By category, fixed income hedge funds were the strongest, adding more than a median 10% for the second consecutive year, followed by market-neutral and quantitative funds, which gained a median 6.18%. Multi-strategy funds ended the year 4.14% higher while equity long/short protected against the downside with a median decline of 1.79%.

Against the back drop of complicated markets with an emerging-market exodus causing volatility, and a string of corporate landmines challenging managers, the funds managed by Jean Pierre Verster and Stephen Brown delivered strong risk-adjusted returns over the measured periods.

Fairtree was nominated in five categories:

Long/short equity - Fairtree Protea Equity Long Short SNN Retail Hedge Fund and Fairtree Protea Worldwide Flexible Equity SNN QI Hedge Fund

Multi-strategy - Fairtree Wild Fig Multi Strategy SNN QI Hedge Fund and Fairtree Woodland Multi Strategy SNN QI Hedge Fund

Five-year Performance – Single-Manager - Fairtree Assegai Equity Long Short SNN QI Hedge Fund

New Fund of the Year - Fairtree Protea Equity Long Short SNN Retail Hedge Fund

Fund of the Year – Fairtree Protea Equity Long Short SNN Retail Hedge Fund


As the winner in two categories, Jean Pierre’s Fairtree Protea Equity Long Short SNN Retail Hedge Fund won best Long/Short Equity Fund and overall Fund of the Year, returning 24.35% for the 2018 calendar year.

“I would like to acknowledge all the role players involved in the success of the fund, including Fairtree, SANNE, RMB and RiskCafé.  Their support enabled me to focus on implementing our proprietary ‘quantamental’ investment process to the benefit of our fund investors,” said Verster.

Stephen Brown’s Fairtree Assegai Equity Long Short Hedge Fund won the Best Single Manager Hedge Fund for five-year performance.

Brown reiterated the difficulty in navigating challenging markets over the five-year period.

“We are very thankful for the recognition of the Assegai fund’s five-year performance track record. Financial markets have been volatile and complicated over this time, but our process and team skill set have successfully delivered strong performance,” he said.

He added the investment process and philosophy remained unchanged.  “This award is a result of a group effort from the whole Fairtree team, and we are very excited about the skills set that has been built within the group.”

The awards are based on risk-adjusted returns for the 2018 calendar year, using an established methodology that comprises net returns as well as Sharpe ratio as a measure of volatility.

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