Robert Holroyd, perhaps New Zealand’s most successful hedge fund manager, died unexpectedly just before Christmas last year while on holiday in Auckland.
Although recently based in Zug, Switzerland, Holroyd achieved his greatest success in Australia with his Commodity Strategies Ltd (CSL) fund.
Prior to CSL, Holroyd launched his first specialist commodities managed fund in New Zealand in 1986 after previously running commodities broking business and a bullion trading firm.
At its peak CSL managed about NZ$300 million, much of which was sourced via a distribution deal with Macquarie. While he moved to Australia in 1999 to set up CSL, Holroyd retained close links with his home country, launching a version of his funds for New Zealand retail investors under the Sirius brand in 2008.
However, he moved to Switzerland in 2010, forming a new business under the Commodity Strategies AG (CSAG) label the following year.
According to a report published on Australian industry website Investor Strategy News in December 2014, CSAG was caught out in the collapse of van Eyk’s Blueprint funds last year.
“The demise of van Eyk Research, his biggest client, which managed a number of funds under the Blueprint label that had Macquarie Bank as its responsible entity, coupled with difficult market conditions, pushed [Holroyd’s] firm to the brink of collapse in recent months,” the report says.
The Blueprint alternatives fund mandate of A$60-70 million represented about a third of CSAG assets, the story says.
“It is understood that Holroyd had been in negotiations with another manager to take over his client base following the van Eyk liquidation,” Investor Strategy News says. “It is now expected that CSAG will be wound up and the remaining funds returned to clients.”
A funeral service was held for Holroyd on December 19 at the All Saints Chapel Purewa Crematorium in Auckland.
He leaves behind a wife and four children.