GB News co-owner Paul Marshall’s hedge fund bets against two of the north’s biggest tech firms

London-based Marshall Wace LLP has taken short positions against both Kainos and FD Technologies

Trip-tech of images comprised of exterior signage of Kainos' Belfast office and FD Technologies' Newry office, with Paul Marshall in the centre.
A hedge fund founded by GB News co-owner Paul Marshall (centre), has taken up short positions against Belfast software group Kainos and Newry tech firm FD Technologies.

A £50 billion hedge fund founded by GB News co-owner Sir Paul Marshall, has taken short positions against two of Northern Ireland’s biggest tech companies.

Marshall Wace LLP has increased its short position against Belfast software group Kainos and Newry tech firm FD Technologies (formerly First Derivatives) in recent weeks.

Both firms are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Short selling is a strategy where funds try to make money by effectively betting that the value of a stock will fall.

According to market analyser Shorttracker, Marshall Wace LLP has built up a position against 0.59% of Kainos Group’s shares, equivalent to around £7.9m worth of shares.

Marshall Wace began shorting Kainos’ stock on February 22 2024, and increased its position to 0.6% on April 3.

The hedge fund marginally decreased its position to 0.59% last week (May 10).

Marshall Wace adopted a position against 0.3% of FD Technologies’ shares on April 3 2024.

It has increased its position twice, rising to 0.7% as of May 3, the equivalent of around £2.6m worth of shares in the listed Newry tech.

The London-based hedge fund was founded by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace in 1997.

According to the latest accounts for the fund, it reported revenues of £1.2 billion in the year ending February 2023, with its partners sharing a £538m of profits.

Mr Marshall, who serves as its chairman and chief investment officer, is the largest shareholder and key financier of right-wing leaning station GB News.

The broadcaster, which he owns along with Dubai-based investment firm Legatum, recorded a pre-tax loss of £42.4m for the year ending May 31 2023.

Mr Marshall stood down from the board of GB News’ parent company All Perspectives last month, amid reports he is preparing a fresh bid to buy the Daily Telegraph.

The hedge-fund boss’ media interests also include the website UnHerd.

Fellow London hedge fund GLG Partners LP has also increased its short position in Kainos in recent days.

It followed the Belfast IT group’s April 15 announcement that its revenues for the year ending March 31 2024 came in lower than market analysts had forecast.

Kainos is due to publish its full year results on Monday.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong fund ActusRayPartners and JP Morgan Asset Management, have both increased their short positions again FD Technologies.

It comes as Irenic Capital Management, a New York activist investor, increased its stake in FD Technologies to 15%, worth around £55m, making it the largest shareholder.

The Newry company, formerly known as First Derivatives, has undergone significant change in 2024, with the group split into three distinct divisions: KX, First Derivative and MRP.