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Hedge Funds Experience Redemptions of $22 Billion in April

CTAs Continue to See Inflows Which Push Assets to New All-Time High of $380.59 Billion   Hedge fund redemptions slowed somewhat in April though the trend continued. The month’s outflows totaled $22.40 billion, 0.44% of industry assets, a reduction from the $35.37 billion in outflows the industry experienced in March. A $131.83 billion trading loss during the month brought total hedge fund industry assets to nearly $5.11 trillion as April ended.  …

2022 Survey of the Top 50 Hedge Funds

Hedge Fund Investing During a Time of War   Like the 2020 edition, this year’s survey collides with a seismic event — a geopolitical shock wrapped around soaring inflation, rising interest rates, and weakened supply chains. Several key takeaways: Over the past five years through 2021, the Top 50 hedge funds collectively generated net annualized returns that trailed a red-hot S&P 500 by just several percentage points, but did so with significantly less risk. The group’s largely uncorrelated returns produced a 5-year Sharpe Ratio that was more than 60 bps higher than the market. Equity, multistrategy, and credit funds led the way, and nearly half of the Top 50 were smaller funds, managing less than $1 billion. As was shown in the 2020 survey, the current Top 50 funds have again preserved capital better than the S&P 500 during the first quarter drawdown. They delivered positive returns, having outpaced a declining market by more than 7 percentage points through March. This year’s survey includes interviews with leading managers and allocators from Citadel, Amundi, Generali, EFG International, NS Partners, along with six hedge fund managers who made this year’s Top 50.…

Decentralized Finance, Crypto Funds, and Value Creation in Tokenized Firms

Written by: Douglas Cumming, Niclas Dombrowski, Wolfgang Drobetz, Paul P. Momtaz Abstract Crypto Funds (CFs) represent a novel investor type in entrepreneurial finance. CFs intermediate Decentralized Finance (DeFi) markets by pooling contributions from crowd-investors and investing in tokenized startups, combining sophisticated venture- and hedge-style investment strategies. We compile a unique dataset combining token-based crowdfunding (or Initial Coin Offerings, ICOs) data with proprietary performance data of CFs. CF-backed startup ventures obtain higher ICO valuations, outperform their peers in the long run, and benefit from token price appreciation around CF investment disclosure in the secondary market. Moreover, CFs beat the market by roughly 2.5% per month. Their outperformance is persistent, suggesting that CFs deliver abnormal returns because of skill, rather than luck. These performance effects for CFs and CF backed startups are driven by a fund’s investor network centrality. Overall, our study paves the way for research on what some refer to as the “crypto fund revolution” in entrepreneurial finance.…

Are Investors Finally Ready to Tap the Brakes on Their Hedge Fund Allocations?

Managed Futures Funds Continued Absorbing Investor Capital, Albeit at a Slower Rate   Hedge fund net redemptions accelerated in March totaling -$35.37 billion, a reduction of -0.70% of industry assets. March’s outflows follow -$3.19 billion in redemptions in February. Nevertheless, a combination of new market entrants and an aggregate $18.24 billion trading gain for the month brought total industry assets to nearly $5.14 trillion as March ended.  …

Hedge Fund Investment in ETFs

Written by: Douglas Cumming, Pedro Monteiro Abstract This paper examines the causes and consequences of hedge fund investments in exchange traded funds (ETFs) using U.S. data from 1998 to 2018. The data indicate that transient hedge funds and quasi-indexer hedge funds are substantially more likely to invest in ETFs. Unexpected hedge fund inflows [outflows] cause a rise [reduction] in ETF investments, and the economic significance of unexpected flow is more than twice as large for transient than quasi-indexer hedge funds. Expected hedge fund flows are statistically unrelated to ETF investments on average. When ETF investment is accompanied by an increase in unexpected flow, hedge fund alphas are higher. When ETF investment is accompanied by an increase in expected flow, hedge fund alphas are lower. The data are consistent with the view that hedge fund ETF investment unrelated to unexpected flow is an agency cost of delegated portfolio management.…

New Entrants Push Global Hedge Fund Industry Over $5 Trillion Threshold Despite February Shunting

Managed Futures Funds Suddenly Back in Vogue and in the Money The hedge fund industry was unable to build much momentum on January’s net inflows. February saw broad trading losses and redemptions that collectively led to marginal net outflows of -$3.19 billion and a reduction in industry assets of -0.07%. Nevertheless, BarclayHedge’s model indicated an increase in industry AUM to $5.04 trillion—a result driven by a significant number of funds coming online in the first months of the year. However, things looked very different in managed futures funds’ corner of the world in February. CTAs swung back to net inflows with net inflows totaling +$2.93 billion, increasing industry assets by nearly a percentage point. Moreover, industry inflows were buoyed by increasing interest in all four CTA subsectors.…

The All-Weather Portfolio Approach: The Holy Grail of Portfolio Management

Written by: Youssef Louraoui Abstract This research article aims to analyze the All-Weather strategy advocated by the very famous hedge fund manager Ray Dalio. Through an analysis of nearly 10 year of market data, we have selected ETF funds to replicate the investment principle by using a classic approach. We present the different results that suggest an overall performance that converge with the original analysis proposed in the Bridgewater Associates (2009) research paper that shows the benefits of the All Weather approach on the overall portfolio risk/return trade-off.…

Hedge Funds Continue Winning Investor Favor, Raking in Another $11.29 Billion in January

January Investor Behavior Strikes Cautiously Optimistic Tone The hedge fund industry resumed attracting capital in January, scooping up $11.29 billion in new assets, good for an increase of 0.24% in total industry assets. A -$117.92 billion trading loss for the month left total industry assets at the $4.80 trillion mark as January closed. “End of year profit-taking, tax-harvesting and rebalancing in December 2021 broke an impressive nine-month run of net inflows to the hedge fund industry. Happily, January marked a return to net inflows, albeit in a somewhat more circumspect manner: Investors gave over an additional $11.29 billion to managers on the month,” observed Ben Crawford, Head of Research at BarclayHedge. “It is notable, however, that January 2022’s net inflows were less than 40% of the industry’s uptake a year ago and also well below the mean monthly inflow from 2021.”…

2021 Global Survey of the Top 50 Hedge Funds: Q4 Update

Fourth Quarter Market and Performance Update The S&P 500 soared nearly 29% in 2021, nearly half of which was generated just in the 4th quarter in spite of clear threats to growth. It was during these last 3 months of the year when the gap between the index and the Top 50 Hedge Funds drastically expanded from nearly 5% to more than 18%. While most of the 50 sustained their historical annualized returns, two basic factors drove last year’s performance gap. One: the 10 largest contributors to the S&P 500’s returns were responsible for more than one-third of the index’s total gains. Two: the reversal in fortunes suffered by a handful of veteran hedged equity and global macro managers who had a long history of consistent solid returns. This report will explore why this occurred. Note: two thirds of the 4th-quarter gains linked to the index's top contributors’ were lost during the first 7 weeks of 2022 —before Russia invaded Ukraine.…

Which Investors Drive Factor Returns?

Written by: Morad Elsaify Abstract Different investors hold different portfolios. To explain this phenomenon, I build a model in which investors have different information processing capabilities. The model predicts that highly capable investors specialize in factor timing, hold more volatile and dispersed portfolios, and reduce average risk premia and volatility. Using novel empirical measures of investors’ capabilities and information choices, I find that hedge funds are the most capable investors, while insurance companies and pension funds are the least. Variation in factor timing ability is the primary driver of these differences. Investors’ portfolios exhibit properties consistent with the model’s predictions. Using a demand system approach, I show that hedge funds have the greatest per-dollar impact on expected returns, shrinking expected returns in the factor zoo by nearly 40% per $1 trillion of invested capital.…

$39.8 Billion in December Profits Elevate Industry AUM to Record $4.80 Trillion

December Hedge Fund Outflows Merely Accentuate a Year of Spectacular Investor Interest After nine consecutive months of inflows, the hedge fund industry saw funds flow out of the sector in December with -$20.4 billion in net redemptions. December’s redemptions represented -0.44% of hedge fund industry assets. A $39.8 billion trading profit in December brought total industry assets to nearly $4.80 trillion at year end.…

Anti-Herding by Hedge Funds, Idiosyncratic Volatility and Expected Returns

Written by: Sara Ali, Ihsan Badshah, Riza Demirer Abstract Utilizing a dataset of 1,899 U.S. hedge funds, we present evidence of anti-herding behaviour among hedge fund managers in the U.S. Hedge funds anti-herd primarily based on fundamental information and irrespective of market volatility and credit deterioration conditions although funding illiquidity has a stronger effect on the formation of anti-herding behaviour across the majority of hedge fund schemes analysed. Interestingly, however, we observe a greater deal of heterogeneity across the different hedge fund categories, particularly during crisis periods, with certain hedge fund schemes including Convertible Arbitrage, Equity Market Neutral and Fixed Income Arbitrage experiencing herding driven by the COVID-19 induced market uncertainty. More importantly, we document significant economic implications of anti-herding and show that hedge funds associated with high degree of anti-herding earn significantly higher excess returns over those with low degree of anti-herding, particularly in the intermediate and long horizons up to one year. At the same time, hedge funds that anti-herd experience greater idiosyncratic volatility in subsequent periods, presenting a novel perspective to the relationship between anti-herding, idiosyncratic volatility and expected returns. While the finding of antiherding in the hedge fund industry is not unexpected as the main attraction of hedge funds is to devise proprietary trading strategies that is based on private information, our findings provide novel insight to the link between idiosyncratic volatility and expected returns in the context of anti-herding in the hedge fund industry.…

Nine Consecutive Months of Positive Net Inflows Push Hedge Fund AUM to $4.69 Trillion Mark

Global Hedge Fund Assets Reach $4.69 Trillion in November as Most Regions See Inflows The hedge fund industry extended its monthly inflow streak to nine consecutive months in November bringing in $19.3 billion in new assets. November’s inflows represented 0.41% of hedge fund industry assets. With the addition of November’s inflows, the hedge fund industry has added $199.8 billion in new assets over the nine-month period. A trading loss of nearly -$40.0 billion during the month brought total industry assets to nearly $4.69 trillion as November ended.…

Rapid Rebound from September Losses Stokes Continuing Investor Interest in Hedge Funds

$4.66 Trillion Industry Rewarded with $26.5 Billion More to Manage The hedge fund industry posted inflows for an eighth consecutive month in October, attracting $26.5 billion in new assets, equivalent to a 0.59% jump in industry assets. Over the eight-month run, Hedge Funds have packed on a total of $180.5 billion in new AUM. $44.0 billion in monthly trading profits pushed total hedge fund industry assets to more than $4.66 trillion as October ended.…

2021 Hedge Fund Survey - Q3 Update

Third quarter volatility ended up sending many trends sideways, leaving the market and the hedge fund industry flat for the period. Meanwhile, hedged equity, macro, and emerging market managers helped the Top 50 funds add nearly two full percentage points during the quarter. This select group outperformed the BarclayHedge average hedge fund return by 2.3% through the first 9 months of 2021, narrowing the amount by which it trails the market.…

2021 Hedge Fund Survey - Mid-Year Update

The 2021 hedge fund survey published in June, which ranked the 50 top-performing funds over the trailing five years through 2020, found as a group they continued to outperform their peers and kept pace with the market during the first quarter. Through the 2nd quarter, the Top 50 again outperformed the hedge fund industry, led by distressed securities and hedged equity managers. But a relentless bull market surged ahead, ignoring inflation fears, unanticipated rise in 10-year Treasury prices, a flattening yield curve, and a rising dollar--factors that weighed on fixed-income, credit and macro strategy returns.…

Hedge Fund Manager Survey: More than 4 in 10 Managers Consider ESG Factors in Equity Selection; ESG Impact on Allocations Expected to Grow in the Year Ahead

Fewer than half of hedge fund managers currently consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when selecting equity securities for their portfolios. But, of those that do take ESG into account, ESG ratings factored in the inclusion of more than half the assets currently in their portfolios. The significant role ESG ratings play in a significant number of investment decisions is the key takeaway from the latest Barclay Hedge Fund Manager Survey, a quarterly report on the sentiments of professionals in the alternative investments sector. Other significant findings include: Hedge Fund Managers who consider ESG factors in their investments will allocate well over half their assets next year based on ESG rankings. Most managers using ESG ratings do so to screen candidates for both Long and Short positions. Governance is the factor weighed most heavily by those managers using ESG scores. On average, managers considering ESG factors in their investments have been doing so for nearly six years. Here are the survey’s detailed findings about hedge fund managers’ consideration of ESG factors:   Q1: Do you currently take ESG factors into consideration when selecting equity securities for portfolio inclusion?   Q2: How long have you been taking ESG factors into consideration when making an investment? On average, managers considering ESG factors in equity investment decisions have been doing so for 57 months. Survey respondents included managers who’ve just begun considering ESG factors to many who’ve applied them to investment decisions for more than eight years. While the concept of “socially responsible investment” has a longer history, the introduction of considering more specific environmental, social and governance factors in investment decisions dates to the early 2000s.   Q3: What percent of your assets are currently allocated based on ESG ratings? Of those considering ESG factors in equity investment decisions, on average 52% of assets are currently allocated based on ESG ratings. Among those surveyed, 41% of respondents indicated that ESG ratings factored into 100% of their asset allocations. While several of those who indicated ESG ratings factored in 100% of their allocations are also among those who’ve been considering ESG factors the longest, there were some managers who’ve considered ESG ratings only recently. Clearly, they’ve decided to go all-in with their ESG-based investment strategies from the start.   Q4: What percent of your assets did you allocate last year based on ESG ratings? On average, among those considering ESG factors, 42% of last year’s asset allocations were based on ESG ratings. Responses ranged from 0% of allocations to the several respondents indicating they allocated 100% of assets based on ESG ratings. It would be interesting to see if the average increases in coming years, and whether more hedge fund managers reach the 100% allocation rate.   Q5: What percent of your assets do you anticipate allocating next year based on ESG ratings? In fact, respondents’ allocation plans for next year indicate that the percentage of equity investments based on ESG ratings is likely to increase. Respondents indicated that on average 58% of next year’s allocations will be based on ESG factors, a significant increase from last year’s 42%. The trend is consistent with reports that ESG investing grew at record levels during this year’s first quarter.   Q6: If you are using ESG considerations in your security selection process, how are you implementing those considerations? Of those employing ESG factors in their security selection process, a considerable majority – 61.5% — do so to screen candidates for both Long and Short positions. Slightly more than a third – 38.5% — do so solely to screen candidates for Long positions. No respondents reported using ESG factors solely to screen candidates for Short positions.   Q7: If you use ESG scores for selecting Short candidates, which ESG factors do you weigh most heavily? Governance is far and away the ESG factor weighed most heavily by investors considering Short candidates. Of those surveyed, 61.1% chose governance as the most significant ESG criteria in considering Short candidates, while 27.8% said they weigh environmental factors most heavily and 11.1% said sustainability was their top consideration. This is another finding that probably shouldn’t be surprising given the positive correlation studies have shown between governance and company performance.   Q8: If you use ESG scores for selecting Long candidates, which ESG factor do you weigh most heavily? While the emphasis remains on governance for most investors viewing Long candidates through an ESG lens, the percentage is slightly less than for Short candidates at 55.6%. The emphasis on environmental factors also is somewhat less in considering Long candidates at 18.5%. The difference is in the consideration of social sustainability factors, 25.8% for Long candidates. The larger emphasis on the “S” in ESG for Long candidates may well reflect growing investor recognition of the value of intangible assets like brand or customer loyalty – and how easily the value of those assets can be eroded through reputation-damaging human capital or supply chain events or other negative social factors.   Q9: Several firms publish ESG ratings/scores. Which publisher is your preferred provider? Survey respondents indicated a preference for four sources of ESG ratings and scores. Bloomberg and Sustainanalytics led the way, each favored by one-third of those surveyed. MSCI was selected by 20.8% of those surveyed and Thomson Reuters by 12.5%. While the concept of “socially responsible investment” has a longer history, the introduction of considering more specific environmental, social and governance factors in investment decisions dates to the early 2000s. Of those considering ESG factors in equity investment decisions, on average 52% of assets are currently allocated based on ESG ratings. Among those surveyed, 41% of respondents indicated that ESG ratings factored into 100% of their asset allocations. While several of those who indicated ESG ratings factored in 100% of their allocations are also among those who’ve been considering ESG factors the longest, there were some investors who’ve considered ESG ratings only recently. Clearly, they’ve decided to go all-in with their ESG-based investment strategies from the start.   Note:  The Barclay Hedge Fund Manager/Investor Survey went out to hedge fund professionals between June 24 and July 11, 2019. We received 70 responses from people working in hedge funds and commodity trading adviser (CTA) funds.  …

BarclayHedge/MPI Hedge Fund Investor Survey: Rising concerns over slowing economic growth in 2019 could be driving a shift in hedge fund investor priorities

Hedge fund investors are coming to terms with the likelihood of slower economic growth and a gradual uptick in interest rates in 2019, according to the latest BarclayHedge, MPI Hedge Fund Investor Survey. Those concerns could be driving a shift in investor interest toward global macro managed futures and fixed income and away from equity strategies in the year ahead.…

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