Suvretta Capital Management is a young New York-based hedge fund founded by its current portfolio manager, Aaron Cowen, in 2012. Prior to founding Suvretta, Mr. Cowen honed his investment acumen working at two acclaimed large hedge funds: as a portfolio manager at Soros Fund Management, and as a CIO at SAC Capital. Prior to those positions, Mr. Cowen was a partner and managing director at Karsch Capital Management, where he was a noticeable part of the team that managed to raise the fund’s AUM more than ten-fold, to $3.3 billion. The Baupost Group, Fidelity Investments, and Lehman Brothers are also among his former employers. In 1994, Mr. Cowen graduated with a BS in Finance and a BSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and in 2002, he earned an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
What differentiates Suvretta Capital Management from other similar global long/short funds is its investment ideology which places industry before company. That comes from Mr. Cowen’s conviction that stock performance is influenced by industry conditions to at least the same degree that individual company performance is. The fund’s investment philosophy, which is therefore centered on analyzing industry dynamics, has proven to be wise, as the fund has had some fantastic results throughout the years.
Let’s take a look at the returns that Suvretta has managed over the years. Since its inception in September 2012 through the end of that year, the fund was up by 4.1%. 2013 was Suvretta Capital Management’s best year, as it delivered a return of 26.3%. In 2014 it had a return of 13.1%, while in 2015 it returned 7.1%. The fund’s worst year to date came in 2016, though it still had a positive return of 3.2%. Perhaps because of that underwhelming performance, the fund launched a long-only fund at the start of 2017. That turned out to be a good move, as last year was a favorable one for the fund, as it delivered a return of 24.32%, giving it an average return of 11.04% between 2015 and 2017, placing it among Barrons’ top 100 hedge funds list for 2018. The fund’s AUM stood at around $3.75 billion on January 3, 2017, and its 13F portfolio was valued at $3.77 billion on June 30, 2018.
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On the next page, you can read about Suvretta Capital Management’s holdings as of the middle of 2018 and the changes it made to its portfolio in the second quarter.