Quant Trader Vogel Shuts Two Climate Hedge Funds After Brief Run

May 12, 2022 by Bloomberg

Quant trader David Vogel is closing two sustainable hedge funds after a short run.

Investors in his Voloridge Climate Change and Sustainability funds were told this week that the money would move into the firm’s main pool, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The funds accounted for about 15% of Voloridge Investment Management’s $9.5 billion in total assets, the person said.

Vogel, a machine-learning pioneer, started the Sustainability fund in 2020 with a plan to raise $1.5 billion. The recent changes were made because Vogel thought it would be more profitable to manage green investments in a larger, broader vehicle, the person said.

This year’s rally in oil prices, fueled in part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has hurt those betting against oil and gas companies, among the biggest contributors to global warming. At the same time, investors have been pulling cash from environmental, social and governance-labeled funds after plowing cash into them in recent years.

Some of the largest climate-focused exchange-traded funds, for example, have seen steady outflows this year, including the $1.8 billion Invesco Solar ETF, which has had a net $230 million of redemptions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

The Sustainability fund had focused on companies affected by events such as floods, fires and natural disasters; firms that invest in efficient technologies; and electric-car makers and their suppliers.

Voloridge, based in Jupiter, Florida, was founded in 2009. Vogel also runs a foundation where he promotes research on the drivers and costs of climate change, and advocates for solutions.

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By Gillian Tan , Saijel Kishan

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