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Strong Start for Nordic CTAs in 2024

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Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – Following a great 2022 and a more subdued 2023, Nordic trend-following CTAs and managed futures vehicles are off to a strong start in 2024. Leading the pack in March was Anna Fund, a Norwegian fund employing a momentum strategy utilizing Bitcoin futures, which surged by 20.3 percent last month. Larger and more established trend-following and managed futures vehicles also had a solid February, with Lynx Systematic Macro Program advancing by 7.0 percent, Estlander & Partners’ Alpha Trend and Freedom vehicles both gaining 6.3 percent, and Lynx seeing a 5.6 percent increase.

Anna Fund, which managed just under NOK 50 million in assets before the turn of the year, now oversees NOK 117 million as of the end of March, following an 82 percent surge in the first quarter of the year. Established by three Norwegian friends in mid-2023, Anna Fund uses inverse perpetual Bitcoin futures to execute its momentum strategy, focusing on capitalizing on Bitcoin’s fluctuations using price and volume data.

Lynx Asset Management’s Lynx Systematic Macro Program is experiencing a strong start to 2024, having gained 19.4 percent in the first quarter, following gains of 6.9 percent in January, 4.4 percent in February, and 7.0 percent in March. Launched in late 2022, Lynx Systematic Macro relies on fundamental macroeconomic principles to invest across currencies, fixed income, equity indices, and commodities. Lynx Asset Management’s flagship trend-following program, Lynx, gained 5.6 percent in March, bringing its 2024 advance to 14.0 percent, driven by trends in equities, currencies, and commodities such as cocoa.

The fund family managed by Finnish systematic asset manager Estlander & Partners also enjoyed a strong March. The asset manager’s pure trend-following strategy, Estlander & Partners Alpha Trend, gained 6.3 percent in March, bringing the year-to-date advance to 11.4 percent. Estlander & Partners Freedom, meanwhile, advanced a similar 6.3 percent to reach a 2024 performance of 7.1 percent.

RPM Evolving CTA Fund, which invests in a select group of young and evolving CTA managers, gained 3.4 percent in March, bringing its year-to-date performance to 6.5 percent. SEB’s quant-driven trend-follower, SEB Asset Selection, was up 3.3 percent last month. However, the fund managed by SEB’s Quantitative Strategies and Liquid Alternatives team had a better start to 2024, advancing 12.9 percent in the first quarter.

Arden xFund, where Martin Redgård started applying a trend-following approach to Nordic single stocks in March, gained 2.2 percent in its first month of operations. This fund employs a sub-strategy of Redgård’s first fund under the umbrella of AIFM, Epoque. After gaining 2.3 percent in 2023 – a challenging year for most trend-followers – Epoque booked a 7.6 percent increase in the first quarter of 2024, reflecting an advance of 1.3 percent in March.

Mandatum Asset Management’s managed futures vehicle gained 2.2 percent in March, bringing its performance for the first three months of 2024 to 6.0 percent. Mandatum Managed Futures Fund, which uses machine learning algorithms to select the right combination of momentum-based models for a given environment, was among the few trend-following funds in the Nordics to finish 2023 in positive territory after two solid months towards the end of the year. Three funds from the “CTA” strategy sub-category have yet to report their March return figures.

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Eugeniu Guzun
Eugeniu Guzun
Eugeniu Guzun serves as a data analyst responsible for maintaining and gatekeeping the Nordic Hedge Index, and as a journalist covering the Nordic hedge fund industry for HedgeNordic. Eugeniu completed his Master’s degree at the Stockholm School of Economics in 2018. Write to Eugeniu Guzun at eugene@hedgenordic.com

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