One of the most anticipated hedge fund fund launches of 2017 keeps raising money

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Flickr/Tasayu Tasnaphun

One of the most anticipated hedge fund launches of the year continues to rake in fresh money, despite a rough start in terms of performance.

Ben Melkman’s Light Sky Macro dropped about 3.5% from March through the end of April, according to an investor document reviewed by Business Insider. May performance numbers weren’t immediately clear.

The fund is continuing to raise assets, however, and is set to manage $1.5 billion on June 1, according to a person familiar with the matter. That marks a quick asset raise as the fund managed around $880 billion at the end of April, according to the investor dcoument, making Light Sky one of the biggest launches of the year.

The fund is also soft-closing, which means that it will not accept money from new investors but may arrange for existing investors to add capital, the person said.

The fund is down at a time when other macro funds are struggling. Brevan Howard’s master fund is down 3.1% this year through end of April, according to an investor document reviewed by Business Insider. Caxton Global was down 6.6% through April 4, according to performance reported to HSBC. Discovery Capital Management was down about 12% through the first three weeks of May, and Rokos Capital dropped 4.7% in the first quarter, Bloomberg reported.

The New York-based Light Sky Macro is led by Melkman, a former partner at Europe-based Brevan Howard Asset Management.

Melkman was the lead manager on Brevan Howard’s $500 million Argentina fund, which returned money to investors after delivering an 18% return since its inception.

The fund has been expanding, with high profile hires such as 15-year Deutsche Bank vet, Jérôme Saragoussi, as director of trading strategy. The fund also recently added Deutsche Bank’s Luigi Gentile as a senior foreign exchange volatility trader and has 24 people on staff, the person familiar with the firm said.

The new fund’s investor list also includes several big-name hedge funders, including Steve Cohen, Third Point’s Dan Loeb, Moore Capital’s Louis Bacon, Coatue’s Philippe Laffont, and Stone Milliner’s Jens-Peter Stein, Business Insider previously reported.