Global stock markets may have surged in the first quarter, generating their second straight double-digit quarterly gains, but Richard Perry barely participated.

The founder of Perry Capital did post a net composite return of 4.83 percent for the three-month period. But it greatly lagged the widely following indexes such as the MSCI World index, which climbed 10.94 percent and the S&P 500, up 12.58 percent. The reason: Perry is pretty cautious these days.

In his quarterly letter to clients, the hedge fund manager noted that while the global equity markets benefitted from the European Central Bank’s easing, he continued to run a low-beta, well-hedged portfolio invested in stressed, distressed and event-driven situations with catalysts that should unlock value.

The one-time merger arbitrage specialist has morphed into an event-driven specialist, mining restructurings, mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, spinoffs and legal outcomes — among other events — which, he stresses, “typically resolve on their own time frame and are less dependent on market movements.”

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