This Fund Is Up 124 Percent This Year

The top-performing CTA is beating every hedge fund.


Illustration by II

Now this is what you call a spectacular start to the year.

Mulvaney Capital Management’s Global Markets Fund posted a hard-to-believe 51 percent gain in March. As a result, the fund headed by Paul Mulvaney is up 124.41 percent for the first quarter, according to the firm’s March client tear sheet, seen by Institutional Investor.

The first-quarter gains are multiples of those of Mulvaney’s peers in what is shaping up to be one of the best years ever for commodity trading advisors, also called managed futures funds.

The U.K.-based Mulvaney Global Markets Fund is a systematic long-term trend–following program. It manages a total of $465 million, per the firm’s document. Mulvaney declined to comment.

The fund’s portfolio is primarily made up of agricultural, energy, metal, and financial futures, according to the firm’s website. More specifically, Mulvaney’s managed futures strategy, the Mulvaney Capital Global Diversified Program, invests in metals, energy, crops, livestock, currencies, interest rates, and stock indices. It is not only uncorrelated to equities and most alternative-asset classes, it also has a negative correlation to the major stock indices, a hedge fund database shows.

This was underscored in 2008, the year of the financial crisis and the stock market meltdown, when Mulvaney had posted a triple-digit gain. The program finished up nearly 109 percent that year.

Since its 1999 inception, the fund has posted a compounded annualized gain of more than 19.57 percent, according to the firm.

Since its inception in July 2012, the strategy has compounded at 24.71 percent, according to the firm.

The Global Markets Fund was up 51.1 percent in 2023, about 89 percent in 2022, and approximately 33 percent the previous year. Its worst drawdown was 45 percent, according to the hedge fund database.

In March and for the quarter, the bulk of the gains were driven by what the firm calls “soft” commodities. They accounted for about 51.6 percent of the month’s performance and 121 percent of the three-month period’s performance, per the firm’s document. Stock indices were responsible for 30 percentage points of first-quarter performance. Metals, interest rates, and livestock detracted from quarterly performance, the document says.

Paul Mulvaney graduated from Manchester University in 1985 with a first-class honors degree in computer science and mathematics and earned an MSc with distinction the following year at Imperial College London. His master’s thesis was on computerized arbitrage models for interest and exchange rate trading.

After graduating, Mulvaney held positions in derivatives and foreign exchange trading at Midland Montagu, Bankers Trust Co., and NatWest Markets. In 1993, he joined Merrill Lynch, where he managed several of the firm’s major options portfolios, including global foreign exchange options and exotic commodity options. Mulvaney left there in 1999 to found Mulvaney Capital.