BOSTON Jan 7 (Reuters) - Elliott Management, one of the world's biggest hedge fund firms with $23.9 billion in assets, earned a 12.4 percent return in its Elliott Associates portfolio, according to performance numbers sent to investors and obtained by Reuters.
For the fourth quarter, Elliott Associates, which has $8.3 billion in assets, returned 2.6 percent, after fees, the numbers show. The firm's offshore fund, Elliott International, which manages $15.57 billion, returned 11.8 percent last year after gaining 2.5 percent during the fourth quarter.
Many hedge funds, including Elliott, send an update with the numbers to wealthy clients shortly after compiling them, then offer more explanation about what helped or hurt the portfolio later in the month.
The double-digit return helped Elliott, run by Paul Singer since 1977, beat the average hedge fund's 6.7 percent gain for the year even as the broader stock market fared much better, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index rising almost 30 percent.
Late last year, Elliott said it had added to long gold options to protect against inflation and noted that activist equity and event-driven positions make sense now because the strategy allows investors to be less influenced by "governmental manipulations."
Since most hedge funds try to keep their returns secret, news about how the biggest managers in the industry fared is closely watched for hints on investing trends.