Apple cash manager Braeburn: the 'world's biggest hedge fund'

The hedge fund reportedly had $117.2 billion in assets under management, besting Bridgewater, which had $100 billion.

Apple has a thing for being the biggest in the world. First, it was the biggest company, in terms of market capitalization. Now it's also a hedge fund.

Zero Hedge yesterday reported that little-heralded Apple subsidiary Braeburn Capital has become "the world's largest hedge fund." The company had $117.2 billion in assets under management at the end of June, easily besting Bridgewater -- generally recognized as the top hedge in the world with approximately $100 billion in assets under management.

According to Zero Hedge, Braeburn is adding $15 billion in funds each quarter, and is headquartered in Reno, Nev. The company was founded in 2006.

Braeburn has a simple charge, which is to manage Apple's enormous cash hoard. The company reportedly parks its funds in a host of investment vehicles, including stocks and bonds.

Apple's cash has long been a subject of controversy. For some time, the cash kept piling up, yet Apple declined to do much with it beyond letting it earn financial returns. Earlier this year, however, Apple finally announced a $2.65-per-share quarterly dividend. Apple also plans to repurchase $10 billion worth of shares.

Those moves haven't put Apple's stash in any danger of depletion. Each quarter, Apple generates billions of dollars that it then keeps on hand.

But as Zero Hedge points out, the company that actually manages all that cash remains shrouded in mystery. According to the blog, Braeburn doesn't have to report any of its holdings, as typical hedge funds do, because it's not an investment advisor; it's simply a money manager for Apple. Indeed, checks into Braeburn in places where investment information would typically be found yield no results.

As for Braeburn's name -- well, according to a Wikipedia entry on the company, Braeburn is a type of apple. Fitting, eh?

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