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Hedge fund managers eagerly adapt to changing markets investors and products according to...

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2015
Author: MFA Press Release



·        Public sector pension and sovereign funds will account for over 25% of hedge fund capital inflows by 2020

·        Institutional investors will continue to eclipse high net worth individuals as primary sources of investment


New York - 12 March 2015: The hedge fund industry is transforming, with managers increasingly focused on customised products and solutions, new investors, and emerging markets.  This is the conclusion of Growing Up - A New Environment for Hedge Funds, the new report produced by KPMG International, the Managed Funds Association (MFA), and the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA).


The report is based on global research with more than 100 hedge fund managers representing approximately $440 billion of assets under management.  Their views reflect fundamental shifts occurring in the hedge fund industry; key findings include:


·        A majority of hedge fund managers expect a significant shift in their primary sources of capital to pension funds over the next five years;

·        Almost 70% of managers said they offer, or plan to offer, custom investment solutions;

·        More than two-thirds of managers anticipate using specialised fee structures to attract investment;

·        More than four in 10 managers expect to change the mix of countries where they invest, with more than a third targeting emerging and frontier markets; and

·        Regulation is seen as the biggest threat to the growth of the hedge fund industry, as cited by more than three-quarters of managers.


Jack Inglis, AIMA CEO, said: “The global hedge fund industry, which has grown by over 10% a year since the financial crisis, is well positioned to maintain this growth trajectory over the next five years. The research shows that as the industry continues to evolve and mature, a combination of institutionalisation and customisation will effect positive change and encourage ever greater allocations from pensions and other institutional investors.”


“Our survey shows the transformative change that is impacting every aspect of hedge fund management, from product mixes and fee structures through to markets and investor types,” said Robert Mirsky, Global Head of Hedge Funds, KPMG International. “The managers we spoke to around the world recognise that the industry must continue to adapt and adjust strategies in order to thrive.”


Shift to institutional investors

The report finds further evidence that the growth of the hedge fund industry is being driven today largely by institutional investors rather than individuals.  A majority of managers expect a significant shift in their primary sources of capital, with most saying that pension funds – both corporate and public – would be their primary sources of capital by 2020.


Forty-six percent of managers said that over the next five years they would either alter their fund strategy or launch new products to attract capital from pension funds.


“The days of hedge funds simply being an investment tool for high-net worth individuals are over,” said MFA President and CEO Richard H. Baker. “Institutional investors like pension plans, university endowments, and charitable organisations now make up nearly 65% of the industry’s assets. These diverse partnerships help local economies and underscore the important role alternatives play at both the macro and micro levels.”


New strategies highlight customisation, new markets

Nearly two-thirds of managers said there is increased demand for custom solutions from their investors.  In fact, almost half said they already offer a ‘fund of one’ or managed fund solution with an additional 21% saying they intend to offer these solutions within the next five years. 


With custom solutions come more customised fee structures. More than two-thirds of managers said they anticipate using specialised fee structures as a means of attracting investment. 


Geographically, most capital invested in hedge funds still comes from North America and Europe, but the research suggests that the greatest percentage increases in inflows are coming from Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.  More than four in 10 managers expect to change the markets where they invest – with more than a third of those targeting emerging and frontier markets. 


Limiting factors to industry expansion

Increased cost and complexity associated with running a hedge fund management firm will limit growth of the industry over the next five years according to the research, with more than three-quarters saying the number of hedge fund managers will decrease or stay the same.


Regulation, cited by more than three-quarters of managers, is seen as the biggest threat to the growth of the hedge fund industry. This is particularly the case in Europe and Asia Pacific, where more than 80% of managers cite regulation as the biggest threat to growth, while in North America it was cited by 67% of managers.


“The research confirms what KPMG professionals see with clients, with a much greater focus on compliance,” said Tom Brown, Global Head of Investment Management, KPMG International.  “But the good news is that while compliance obligations have increased operating costs, there are signs that these costs are flattening out, and fund managers can put more of their attention on growth.”




Notes to editors: Click here for the report.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Dominic Tonner, Head of Communications, AIMA

Tel: +44 20 7822 8380

Email: dtonner@aima.org


About AIMA

The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) is the global hedge fund industry association, with over 1,500 corporate members (and over 8,000 individual contacts) in over 50 countries. Members include hedge fund managers, fund of hedge funds managers, prime brokers, legal and accounting firms, investors, fund administrators and independent fund directors. AIMA’s manager members collectively manage more than $1.5 trillion in assets. All AIMA members benefit from AIMA’s active influence in policy development, its leadership in industry initiatives, including education and sound practice manuals, and its excellent reputation with regulators worldwide. AIMA is a dynamic organisation that reflects its members’ interests and provides them with a vibrant global network. AIMA is committed to developing industry skills and education standards and is a co-founder of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation (CAIA) – the industry’s first and only specialised educational standard for alternative investment specialists. For further information, please visit AIMA’s website, www.aima.org.


About KPMG

KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 155 countries and have more than 162,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.


About MFA

The Managed Funds Association (MFA) represents the global alternative investment industry and its investors by advocating for sound industry practices and public policies that foster efficient, transparent, and fair capital markets. MFA, based in Washington, DC, is an advocacy, education, and communications organization established to enable hedge fund and managed futures firms in the alternative investment industry to participate in public policy discourse, share best practices and learn from peers, and communicate the industry’s contributions to the global economy. MFA members help pension plans, university endowments, charitable organizations, qualified individuals and other institutional investors to diversify their investments, manage risk, and generate attractive returns. MFA has cultivated a global membership and actively engages with regulators and policy makers in Asia, Europe, the Americas, Australia and all other regions where MFA members are market participants.  For more information, please visit: www.managedfunds.org.