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Ben Melkman's Hedge Fund Suffers a Second Year of Losses

Saijel Kishan and Nishant Kumar
Ben Melkman's Hedge Fund Suffers a Second Year of Losses

(Bloomberg) -- Ben Melkman, who won backing from billionaire Steven Cohen and Dan Loeb for his fledgling hedge fund, lost money for a second year in a row.

His $1.6 billion Light Sky Macro fell 2.3 percent in 2018 after a 2.9 percent loss in December, according to people familiar with the matter. The fund also declined 9.7 percent in its first 10 months of trading in the previous year.

The manager lost money last month because he was optimistic about a breakthrough in trade talks between the U.S. and China, one of the people said. A spokesman for New York-based Light Sky declined to comment.

Melkman, a former money manager at Brevan Howard Asset Management, is among macro traders who for years have struggled to navigate markets. Macro funds on average lost 4.9 percent in 2018, according to preliminary figures from the Bloomberg Hedge Fund Database. But some of them did stage a comeback last year, including Melkman’s former boss, Alan Howard.

Cohen and Loeb didn’t fare well in 2018 either. Cohen, who returned to trading client money last year after a two year ban, made less than 1 percent since the spring at Point72 Asset Management. Loeb’s Third Point lost 11 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Saijel Kishan in New York at skishan@bloomberg.net;Nishant Kumar in London at nkumar173@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Margaret Collins at mcollins45@bloomberg.net, Vincent Bielski, Alan Mirabella

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