Hedge fund Viking reopens flagship fund after decade -sources

By Carolina Mandl

NEW YORK (Reuters) -U.S.-based Viking Global Investors has reopened its flagship long/short hedge fund for new capital having closed it more than a decade ago, according to three people familiar with the matter, as industry-wide equity hedge fund returns strengthen.

Led by co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Andreas Halvorsen, Viking ended June with $26 billion in public equity assets under management, according to it website.

Halvorsen is a so-called Tiger Cub – a protégé of legendary investor Julian Robertson, whose Tiger Management once ranked among the world’s biggest and most successful hedge funds and who trained generations of prominent stock pickers. Dozens of them eventually started their own firms, including Halvorsen.

In 2011, Viking decided to close its long/short hedge fund to new investors because it was becoming too big to explore profitable trading opportunities, according to news reports at the time.

The people familiar with the fund’s reopening, which has not previously been reported, spoke on condition of anonymity because talks between Viking and investors are private.

Viking declined to comment.

The decision to reopen the fund to new capital comes at time when equity hedge funds are the leading industry gainers, buoyed by a recent market rally.

The S&P 500 index rose roughly 21% in the year through July, driving long/short hedge funds up 7.8%, according to data provider HFR. Last year, equity hedge funds lost on average 10.1%, HFR said.

The stock market rally has caused some institutional investors to rethink their overall strategy. A recent Goldman Sachs survey showed big investors such as pension funds and insurance companies are willing to increase allocations to credit and equity hedge funds.

At the end of March, Viking had big positions in companies such as Amazon, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, according to regulatory filings, which surged amid an artificial intelligence boom.

It also held a stake in General Electric, which is up roughly 74% this year. Halvorsen’s fund was also heavily focused on healthcare and biotechnology companies.

Founded in 1999, Viking started as a long/short hedge fund and added a long-only strategy ten years later. More recently, the firm expanded to private assets, credit and structured capital. Overall, the firm manages $41 billion in assets, according to its website.

(Reporting by Carolina Mandl in New York; Editing by Michelle Price and Jamie Freed, Elaine Hardcastle)