New York (HedgeCo.Net) – Hedge funds are expected to reach a record breaking $3 trillion by year-end 2014, up from $2.6 trillion in 2013, Deutsche Bank reports. The 12th annual Alternative Investor Survey is is based on investors’ predictions of $171 billion net inflows and performance-related gains of 7.3% (representing $191 billion).
“Hedge funds continue to establish their growing position within the broader asset management industry, alongside some of the more mainstream asset managers.” Barry Bausano, co-head of global prime finance at Deutsche Bank, said, “The hedge fund industry is predicted to reach a record $3 trillion by 2014 year end driven by significant inflows, most notably from institutional investors.”
Other survey highlights include:
- Commitment from institutional investors continues to strengthen – Nearly half of institutional investors increased their hedge fund allocations in 2013, and 57% plan to grow their allocations in 2014. Institutional investors now account for two thirds of industry assets, compared to approximately one third pre-crisis.
- Investors are happy with hedge fund performance – Eighty percent of respondents state that hedge funds performed as expected or better in 2013, after their allocations returned a weighted average of 9.3% in 2013. Sixty-three percent of respondents, and 79% of institutional investors, are targeting returns of less than 10% for their hedge fund portfolios in 2014. Equity long short and event driven are the most sought after strategies.
- 2 & 20 is not the norm – Investors today pay an average management fee of 1.7%, and an average performance fee of 18.2%. While fees have come down slightly, investors remain willing to pay for performance: almost half of all investors would allocate to a manager with fees in excess of 2 & 20 where the manager has proven “consistent strong performance in absolute terms”.
- A bigger part of a bigger pie – hedge funds get reclassified – Thirty-nine percent of investors are now embracing a risk-based approach to asset allocation, up from 25% in 2013. Forty-one percent of pension consultants recommend this approach to clients. The risk-based approach effectively removes historical constraints on the percentage allocation to absolute return strategies, allowing equity long/short managers to compete with long only and fixed income absolute return funds within the overall fixed income risk budget.
“With the majority of investors happy with hedge fund performance, we expect institutional investors to further strengthen their commitment to hedge funds. Last year’s respondents targeted 9.2% for their hedge fund portfolios, and hedge funds delivered – the weighted average return for respondents’ hedge fund portfolios this year was 9.3%. Looking forward, respondents are targeting 9.4% for 2014.” Anita Nemes, global head of the hedge fund capital group at Deutsche Bank, said.
This year over 400 investor entities participated, representing over $1.8 trillion in hedge fund assets and over two thirds of the entire market by assets under management (AUM).
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