Winton Group

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Winton Group, Ltd
IndustryHedge fund
FoundedFebruary 1997; 23 years ago (1997-02)
FounderDavid Harding
RevenueDecrease£265 million (2017)
Decrease£267 million (2016)[1]
AUMUS$ 21.8 billion
(as of June 30, 2019)[2]
Number of employees

Winton Group, Ltd (which includes Winton Capital Management) is a British investment management firm founded by David Harding. In the United States, Winton is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment advisor and with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a CTA, and is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. The company trades on more than 100 global futures markets in a wide variety of asset classes and on global equity markets. The firm was launched with $1.6 million in 1997[4][5] and as of December 2017 it held $28.5 billion in assets under advisement.[3] Winton Group has eight offices around the world: London, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, San Francisco, and Zurich.[6]


Early years[edit]

In 1996, physicist and investment manager David Harding left Man AHL (formerly Adam, Harding and Lueck), a systematic managed futures fund and created Winton.[7][8] Using Harding's middle name,[9] the firm began trading in October 1997.[10] Winton employs statisticians, engineers and physicists, to pursue investment strategies based on scientific research and analysis.[11] According to Harding, Winton had difficulty attracting clients as a commodity trading advisor (CTA), because investors preferred hedge fund strategies that focused on the equity market rather than futures contracts.[9] However, using fees that were different from industry standards, the firm was able to secure investors.[9][12]

Company milestones[edit]

  • In 2005, the firm launched the Winton Evolution Fund, which was designed as a multi-strategy fund investing in a variety of financial instruments and securities.[7][11]
  • In July 2007, Petershill Fund, a private equity fund set up by Goldman Sachs Asset Management International, acquired a 9.99% stake in Winton.[13][14]
  • In 2007, Winton was ranked as the third largest CTA by the industry journal Absolute Return.[7]
  • In 2007 it became founding member of the Hedge Fund Standards Board, which sets a voluntary code of standard of best practice endorsed by its members.[15]
  • In 2008, Winton was named Real Business's "most profitable" company[16] and was ranked the third largest private finance company in Britain by The Daily Telegraph.[17]
  • In late 2008, the company opened offices in Hong Kong, their first outside of the UK.[18]
  • In 2010, the company launched the Winton Global Equity Fund which received UCITS approval in Europe.
  • In September 2012, Winton became research consultants with Fortune SG Fund Management of Shanghai to help develop China's first managed futures fund.[19][20]
  • In 2013, media coverage reported that the firm's founder had paid nearly £521 million in British taxes since 2006, including £133 million in 2011 alone.[21]
  • In 2014 the company opened offices in New York,[22] Sydney,[23] and Tokyo.[24] Shanghai offices followed in 2015.[24]
  • In 2016, Winton's San Francisco office opened.[25]
  • Also in 2016, Petershill Fund sold its stake in Winton to Affiliated Managers Group, and Winton changed the name of its holding company from Winton Capital Management to Winton Group.[26][27]
  • In 2018, Hivemind Technologies Ltd., a software company that specialises in creating structured data, spun out from Winton.[28]



David Harding is the company's founder and chief executive officer.[4] Approximately 70% of the firm's employees own shares or share options in the company.[13] Winton employs approximately 450 staff members.[5]

More than 100 of the firm's employees are academics doing mathematical research[13] and studying statistical relationships and trading patterns.[12] These highly trained specialists are organized into research teams, which peer review and test new strategies, gather data and identify trends.[10] While quant hedge funds broadly have struggled for several years just following the 2008 financial crisis, Winton remains a top recruit of quantitative minds.[29]

The majority of the firm's clients reside outside the UK and many are from the United States.[7][8]

Investment strategy[edit]

Since its inception, Winton has traded as a commodity trading advisor (CTA). It is regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a CTA[9] and by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. Winton is also registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment advisor.[30]

The firm refers to itself as a "modern investment management company"[31] and employs managed futures strategies using data analysis and modelling to follow trends in global futures markets such as commodities and bonds.[32] After establishing the Winton Evolution Fund and Winton Global Equity Strategy, the firm began offering multi-strategy and equity investment programs that invest in equity markets around the world.[7][33][34]

Winton uses research and quantitative data analysis to identify favourable trends in the market[35][33] and its focus on research differentiates it from its industry companions.[7][35] In recent years, Winton has further developed its statistical research, focusing on big data; according to the Financial Times, in 2013 its machines processed "the equivalent of 30m King James bibles' worth of information every day".[36] In April 2013, Winton was featured in the BBC2 program Horizon: The Age of Big Data for its use of scientific analysis of data, particularly for its capture and processing of large data sets including historical data for the markets that it trades in and newly produced data from thousands of companies.[37]

Winton's trading is automated and systematic and uses computer algorithms[9] to trade futures in financial assets including equities, currencies, bonds, commodities, livestock and energy[18] in over 100 futures markets worldwide.[7] Winton uses a mix of long-term and short-term trading as part of its strategy[7] and combines uncorrelated strategies to maximize their risk-return ratio.[7][33][32] According to the firm, it uses the same mathematical tools, for research, statistical data analysis, stock selection, and futures investments.[38] From around 2008, the Winton Fund has increased its allocation to cash equities.[39][40]

Assets under advisement[edit]

When Winton launched in October 1997, it held $1.6 million in assets.[7] Over the next 3 years the assets held by the firm grew to over $150 million at the end of 2000.[41] By 2004, the firm's seventh year in operation, its assets under advisement reached $1 billion.[42] In the mid-to-late 2000s, the firm experienced large inflows of capital, leading to its assets under advisement increasing rapidly from $4.8 billion in mid-2006,[8][13][43] to $12.4 billion in 2009.[32][44] Between 2010 and 2012, Winton's total assets under advisement increased by almost $15 billion, from $13.7 billion in June 2010 to $28.5 billion in February 2012.[38] As at December 2017, Winton's assets under advisement totaled $28.5 billion.[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "The largest managers of hedge funds (P&I Sep 2019)" (Special Report Hedge Funds). United States: Pensions & Investments. Crain Communications Inc. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Winton Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Winton. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b Ben Wright (2 March 2014). "Winton Capital Plans Expansion Drive With Up To 100 New Hires By Year-End". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b Cookson, Clive (25 November 2016). "Winton Capital's David Harding on making millions through maths". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  6. ^ "About Us". Winton. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Barry Cohen (November 2007). "Winton's Winning Formula". Absolute Return.
  8. ^ a b c Bill McIntosh (22 January 2007). "Winton Capital, Dexion Team Up for Fund IPO". HedgeWorld Daily News.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Profile: Winton wonderland". FOW Magazine. October 2006.
  10. ^ a b Loch Adamson (May 2009). "New World Masters". Alpha Magazine.
  11. ^ a b Leah McGrath Goodman (April 2008). "The Wizard of Winton". Trader Monthly. p. 106.
  12. ^ a b Jack Willoughby (29 June 2009). "Trend Tracker". Barron's Hedge Funds.
  13. ^ a b c d Bill McIntosh (8 October 2007). "GSAM Fund Buys Stake in Winton". Reuters Hedgeworld. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Goldman fund buys 10 percent stake in Winton: report". Reuters. 8 October 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  15. ^ Hedge Fund Standards Board. "HFSB Founders & Core Supporters". Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Hot 100; Most profitable: Winton Capital". Real Business. April 2008.
  17. ^ Katherine Griffiths (19 August 2008). "Finance at its very highest; Britain's biggest private companies". The Daily Telegraph (London). p. 7.
  18. ^ a b Tomoko Yamazaki; Komaki Ito (12 July 2009). "Winton to Start Japan Fund, Hire H.K. Staff in Asian Expansion". Bloomberg. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  19. ^ Devasabai, Kris (26 April 2013). "CTAs eye swap futures". Infopro Digital Risk Limited. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017.
  20. ^ Harriet Agnew (25 September 2012). "Winton backs China's first managed futures fund". Financial News. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  21. ^ Nicholas Hellen (30 September 2013). "Rich man pays his taxes — shock". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  22. ^ Delevingne, Lawrence (10 June 2014). "The British (hedge funders) are coming!". CNBC. Retrieved 13 September 2017. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. ^ Smith, Mark (28 April 2014). "The British (hedge funders) are coming!". Financial Standard. Retrieved 13 September 2017. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  24. ^ a b Eschenbacher, Stefanie (3 February 2016). "Winton on the hunt for Asia recruits". Financial News. Retrieved 13 September 2017. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  25. ^ Kishan, Saijel (22 December 2016). "Data Scientists Making Millions Vie With Fund Managers Over Pay". Bloomberg. Retrieved 13 September 2017. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  26. ^ Childs, Mary (6 June 2016). "Goldman Sachs sells stakes in 5 hedge funds to AMG!". Financial Times. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  27. ^ "Winton Group Limited". Companies House. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  28. ^ Lindsay Fortado; Robbin Wiggelsworth (18 June 2018). "Hedge fund Winton spins out its big data unit". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  29. ^ Paul Clarke (December 5, 2013). "Quant hedge funds struggle to hold on to mathematical whizz kids". eFinancialCareers.
  30. ^ "Investment Advisor Search Results". Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  31. ^ David Harding (Spring 2008). "What's in a name? Where are CTAs going?". Global Review - Hedge Fund Intelligence.
  32. ^ a b c "Harding's Hedge Fund Thrives on Surprise". Reuters Hedgeworld. 16 October 2009.
  33. ^ a b c Martin Steward (1 December 2010). "Winton's global equity strategy". Investment and Pension Europe.
  34. ^ Stephen Taub (4 March 2014). "The Morning Brief: David Harding's Winton Capital Plots Big Expansion". Alpha Magazine. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  35. ^ a b "It's rocket science: MacBoffins crunch the numbers". The Australian. 13 October 2005. p. 29.
  36. ^ Sam Jones (20 February 2013). "Winton Capital have curious minds to supply science to finance". Financial Times. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  37. ^ "Big Data in the 21st Century..The New Digital Battlefield..." Business Information Portal. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  38. ^ a b Jez Liberty (20 March 2012). "Trend Following Wizards update February 2012;".
  39. ^ Anita Raghavan (7 October 2013). "A Recent Flourish for Winton Capital". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  40. ^ "Winton Capital Management – Best Managed Futures/CTA". Hedgeweek. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  41. ^ "Fast finish makes 2000 a winner". Managed Account Reports. January 2001. p. 1.
  42. ^ "Winton passes $1b mark on seventh anniversary". Managed Account Reports. October 2004. p. 1.
  43. ^ Neil Behrmann (11 May 2006). "Managed futures funds and CTAs gain but beaten by commodity indices". Infovest21 News.
  44. ^ Taub, Stephen (Apr 2009). "The Hedge Fund 100: Our Rankings of the World's Biggest Single Manager Firms". Alpha Magazine.

External links[edit]