Ken Griffin, CEO of Citadel, at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha on Sept. 28, 2022.

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Billionaire investor Ken Griffin’s flagship hedge fund rose last month as volatility made a return amid the debate about rate cuts, according to a person familiar with the returns.

Citadel’s multistrategy flagship Wellington fund climbed 1.9% in January, following a 15.3% gain last year, according to the person, who spoke anonymously because the performance numbers are private. All five strategies used in the fund — commodities, equities, fixed income, credit and quantitative — were positive for the month, the person said.

The Miami-based firm’s tactical trading fund gained 2.6% for the month, while its equities fund, which uses a long/short strategy, returned 2.1%, said the person. Meanwhile, Citadel’s global fixed income fund returned 1.7%.

Citadel declined to comment.

The stock market had rallied to start the year, but the momentum lately eased as hopes for rate cuts pulled back. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in late January that a March rate cut is unlikely, triggering the biggest daily loss since September for the S&P 500. The equity benchmark was up 1.6% for January.

The Citadel CEO recently spoke positively of the U.S. economy, seeing the Federal Reserve engineering a soft landing this year. He said the overall economy looks “pretty damn good” right now, with recent data indicating a solid labor market, healthy GDP growth and inflation moderating at a better pace than expected. 

The hedge fund giant started 2024 with $56 billion in assets under management.

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