GLC, the multi-strategy firm led by Lawrence Staden that was one of London's earliest and most colourful hedge fund groups, is to return capital to investors after more than 20 years in business.

The firm has concluded that the significant structural market changes of the last few years are unlikely to create the same kind of conditions for its short-term quant trading strategies in the future that had previously enabled Staden and his colleagues to deliver excellent results for investors over most of the past two decades.

Although conditions for its main systematic strategies have been tough for the past two or three years, the firm achieved flat or modestly positive performance across the board last year - and GLC's assets under management were still at about $1 billion when the decision to liquidate the funds was taken this month.

Established in 1992 by Staden - initially under the umbrella of GNI - GLC grew to manage a range of strategies encompassing equity statistical arbitrage, short and mid-term CTA's and discretionary macro. The firm ran a variety of systematic and discretionary investment programmes via a range of seven commingled single-strategy and multi-strategy funds - as well as bespoke managed accounts for institutional clients - and employed 40 people.

Over the years GLC achieved impressive long-term results for its investors - not least in the meltdown year of 2008, when most of its funds substantially outperformed the markets and other hedge fund strategies during the global financial crisis.

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