A hedge fund set up by a former Millennium Management investment manager has more than quadrupled its assets to $1 billion over the past year, defying an exodus of capital from the industry.

Michael Cowley’s Sandbar Asset Management, which started trading in August 2018, had about $230 million of assets a year ago, according to a spokesman for the London-based firm. The subsequent surge was boosted by the October launch of a retail-friendly fund that offers daily dealing, and whose assets have jumped to more than $600 million from $100 million. The rest of the firm’s assets are held in its main strategy.

Sandbar’s capital raising comes at a difficult time for an industry facing accelerated outflows. Hedge funds have suffered about $120 billion in net withdrawals since the start of 2018, according to data compiled by eVestment. More than 4,000 have been liquidated in the past five years.

Hitting $1 billion in assets is an important milestone in the industry. Only about 8% of European hedge funds manage more than that amount, according to data from Eurekahedge. Sandbar joins the likes of hedge fund startups Crake Asset Management and Samson Rock Capital in raising money in Europe last year.

Cowley ran an equity long-short money pool for billionaire Izzy Englander’s hedge fund Millennium before setting up Sandbar. His previous employers include Citadel and Balyasny Asset Management.

Sandbar runs an equity market-neutral strategy. Such funds typically avoid directional market exposure by matching bets on rising shares with wagers on those they expect to fall. The Sandbar Master Fund gained 7.5% last year, compared with a 2.4% return in the HFRI EH Equity Market Neutral Index, according to a newsletter seen by Bloomberg.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.