BlackRock Inc. star money manager Alister Hibbert has turned bearish as his hedge fund endures its worst-ever losses amid a sharp decline in stocks. 

The BlackRock Strategic Equity Hedge Fund tumbled 13% this year through April, a person with knowledge of the matter said. That exceeds its worst annual decline of 11%. The money manager, who has profited from the historic surge in stocks since starting the fund in 2011, turned net short for the first time ever this month, said the person. His portfolio was net long about 35% at the end of last year. 

Hibbert has run his fund with a tilt toward growth stocks and owned shares such as Microsoft Corp. and Mastercard Inc. He flagged his cautious outlook earlier this year, telling clients that the strongest phase of economic recovery, characterized by soaring earnings and cyclical performance, was now over. The fund had about $9 billion of assets on Dec. 31.

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