Energy Crunch Drives Stellar Returns at Commodities Hedge Funds

Former Enron Corp. trader Ulf Ek guided his Northlander Commodity Advisors LLP hedge fund to a 50% return this year, capping a series of gains among commodities-focused investors profiting from unprecedented turmoil in global energy markets.

European energy prices have soared this year as Russia cut supplies of natural gas, sending power prices to record levels and governments rushing to protect consumers from the economic fallout. Fluctuating oil markets added to the volatility, opening up a chance for traders to cash in on the calamity.

Along with Northlander, returns at Westbeck Capital Management’s Energy Opportunity Fund soared about 41% through August, according to the London-based firm’s chief executive officer, Jean-Louis Le Mee. And Per Lekander’s $2.6 billion Clean Energy Transition LLP was up 15% through the end of August, driven by positions in power and oil, according to a note sent to investors.