Money managers under the microscope
Fund service providers were back in force at the GAIM hedge funds conference in Monaco this year, a small sign that the industry, while not exactly brimming with confidence, has at least crawled out of the doldrums of 2009.
The service providers including fund auditors, custodians and prime brokers, have drawn in their horns since the early years of the millennium when they were often the main sponsors of cocktails and dinners at large hedge fund events.
They were conspicuous by their near absence at GAIM 2009, as were the free-for-all champagne receptions, gala dinners and so on, as money drained from the industry after hedge funds suffered their worst ever losses in the crisis year of 2008.
One of the big four auditors, for example, brought 22 staff in 2008, but just four in 2009.
May was a bumper month for the battered hedge fund industry with an impressive 5.23 percent return, the best monthly gain in almost a decade.
The data, from Hedge Fund Research, takes returns for the first five months of the year to 9.43 percent. After last year’s record losses, this is a much healthier figure and more reminiscent of the returns during the industry’s boom years such as 1999 or 2003.