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It is widely believed that Renaissance Technologies is one of the most successful hedge funds. But I couldn't find any credible evidence for that unfortunately.

Warrent Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. publishes its reports for every quarter since 1996!

Is anything comparable available for Renaissance Technologies?

Are there any evidence which could proof that Renaissance Technologies is one of the most successful hedge funds?

I read "More Money Than God" and numerous articles - they mostly repeat each other.

UPDATE 1: Form 13-F does not help for its unreliability. From Investopedia:

Some investors, and even the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) itself, question the quality and integrity of 13F filings. In a 2010 investigation, the SEC’S findings regarding 13F reporting requirements revealed concerns around three major issues. The first finding offered that no SEC division assumed any authority to scrutinize 13F’s in general. The second conclusion stated that no SEC office analyzes 13F’s content for “accuracy and completeness. Lastly, the SEC found that the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system possessed no internal checks used to monitor the filings of 13Fs.

Authors of Form 13f (Mis) Filings article published in 2016 found

the overall frequency of incorrect pricing in 13F reports exceeds the overall frequency of correct pricing ...the magnitudes of these mispricings are economically significant.

NOTE FOR DOWNVOTERS: Please consider to downvote "Strategy of Renaissance Technologies Medallion fund: Holy Grail or next Madoff?" question too (currently +17) or comment why you are downvoting only this question.

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    $\begingroup$ Well: Berkshire is a listed company, they MUST publish reports. Renaissance is a hedge fund, they do not have to publish pretty much anything. Only once you've invested will you have information to some of the details; but noone will ever give their secret sauce for free... $\endgroup$ – rbm Feb 27 '18 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ @rbm Do you believe that Renaissance Technologies is "one of the most successfull hedge funds" and, if yes, why? $\endgroup$ – zer0hedge Feb 28 '18 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ That'd be "primarily opinion-based", which is against the rules of this site... $\endgroup$ – rbm Feb 28 '18 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ How is a 13-F misfiling much different than 10-K fraud? Fraud is fraud. The intent is always to mislead. I could easily cite many cases of tax and securities fraud, but the only difference in these cases is the level of regulator scrutiny. $\endgroup$ – David Addison Mar 1 '18 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidAddison 10-K includes audited financial statements - you can't misfile them $\endgroup$ – zer0hedge Mar 2 '18 at 11:54
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Renaissance is a private company and is not obliged to provide a copy of its financials to anybody outside of regulators, if they are so required. Some hedge funds do provide their audited financials to investors. Some investors, particularly large institutional investors that are acting on behalf of clients, review audited financials as part of their initial and ongoing due diligence. Renaissance is probably not looking for new capital/investors. As such, you are probably out of luck in obtaining the audited financials as a potential client.

If a hedge fund is looking to attract and maintain investors they will provide information to their potential clients, including audited financials. Here is where @rdm's comment comes into play. As a successful hedge fund, they have kicked out all external investors from their main fund. Only employees and partners (and perhaps some early stage investors??) are able to maintain their investment in this fund. As such they do not have to provide the information you are seeking. If they have other funds where they have limited partners (ie. external investors), they may provide audited financials to them. However, they probably only do so under some confidentiality agreement with those investors such that they may not divulge that information to anybody else.

The SEC had an initiative (about 2005-6) where they were seeking HFs to register. Had Renaissance done this, there may some old financials that they filed with the SEC when they filed an ADV. Another place that these may reside is with the regulators where they are domiciled. This is most likely an offshore country and the regulators would most likely not provide this information to you. Their auditors would have them--but again will not provide them to you.

Why are you looking for this information anyway? The secrets to their investment strategies will not be in their financials.

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  • $\begingroup$ I simply doubt the existence of Renaissance Technologies secret $\endgroup$ – zer0hedge Feb 28 '18 at 14:33
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On 22 Nov 2016 Katherine Burton reports:

The fabled fund, known for its intense secrecy, has produced about \$US55 billion (\$74.5 billion) in profit over the past 28 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, making it about $US10 billion more profitable than funds run by billionaires Ray Dalio and George Soros.

If you have a Bloomberg Terminal, you may be able to more closely determine the source of this claim, as was reported in 20 Nov 2016 Bloomberg Markets article Inside a Moneymaking Machine Like No Other.

Otherwise, I would surmise that 13-F filings are the most reliable way of inferring the performance of the equities portion of its portfolio. Notably, Whale Wisdom purports to have a backtesting tool which reconstructs a portfolio manager's performance based on its reportable holdings (as such, it will omit returns which are attributable to fixed income securities, options, and other derivatives).

While I am not not a paid subscriber, it looks like Whale Wisdom has data going back to 2001, and allows backtesting using equal and manager weighted portfolio for up to the top 50 holdings by market value. I am not sure if returns are net of leverage, but that information may be buried in its backtesting white paper.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've added UPDATE1 to the question. Bernie Madoff was using 13-F for 'reporting' $\endgroup$ – zer0hedge Mar 1 '18 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ Even if the 13F filings are completely accurate, they are most likely worthless for a more fundamental reason: turnover. If we're focusing on Medallion (their longest and most successful fund), then AFAIK, their turnover is much faster than quarterly. That means that the positions that are reported in the 13F are completely wrong (probably) within a few days. $\endgroup$ – Frank Fingerman Mar 3 '18 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ Incidentally, RenTech do report for a couple of their funds to the HSBC report, e.g. distressions.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/…. RIDA is described as Market Neutral, whereas RIEF is AFAIK 130/30, but both are putting up double-digit years on $4-$5B, which isn't too shabby. $\endgroup$ – Frank Fingerman Mar 3 '18 at 2:00

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