Last October staff members of hedge fund firm Winton Capital Management gathered for a celebration at the Royal Exchange in the City of London. As champagne flowed and Winton founder and chairman David Harding danced to the music of a live band featuring former Dire Straits bassist John Illsley, some 250 Winton employees commemorated an important milestone. Winton was on its way to raising $10 billion in 2011, and it had just surpassed another big managed-futures hedge fund firm, Man AHL, in assets. Harding had co-founded AHL in 1987 but left on less than friendly terms and now openly calls it a “fierce rival.”
||David Harding: Part scientist, part punk rocker (Photographs by Harry Borden) |
The location itself was symbolic for Harding. Royal Exchange, now a private party venue, was previously home to the London International Financial Futures Exchange, where Harding had started his career as a young, inexperienced...