Money managers under the microscope
Are we heading for another down year for hedge funds?
I ask because after a choppy six months or so, during which the FTSE 100 is down 3.6 pct, hedge funds have also lost 1.12 pct.
Some commentators are predicting a rebound in equities and other assets, but others expect further volatility, which could be harmful to funds’ returns.
Our stablemate Lipper, the fund research firm, is sticking its neck out for a better H2, arguing that earnings will surprise on the upside, double-dip fears will fade, and commodity investing will continue to throw up arbitrage opportunities. You can read Lipper’s latest report here.
I remember, at the Reuters Hedge Fund & Private Equity Summit in spring 2008, asking outspoken fund manager Hugh Hendry whether hedge funds might finish 2008 in the red after a tricky start to the year and losses of 4.4 pct in Q1.
Railway porter-turned-billionaire financier George Soros delivered a stark warning last night that the financial world is on the wrong track and that we may be hurtling towards an even bigger boom and bust than in the credit crisis.
The man who ‘broke’ the Bank of England (and who is still able to earn a cool $3.3 bln in a year) said the same strategy of borrowing and spending that had got us out of the Asian crisis could shunt us towards another crisis unless tough lessons are learned.
Mohamed El-Erian, CEO and co-CIO of the world's biggest bond fund PIMCO, says 2010 is the beginning of the multi-year resetting of the global economy.
In the period up to the crisis, there were two labels that dominated the world -- Great Moderation and Goldilocks. Not too cold, not too hot. 2009 was about crisis management -- the label was 'whatever it takes'. The 2010 label is post-crisis. It's not just about post-crisis. In our view, 2010 is about multi-year resetting of the global economy. It will be a bumpy journey to the new normal.
Signs of big-ticket investments from pension funds — New York State Common Retirement Fund has backed emerging market debt manager Finisterre Capital with $250 mln.
Despite 2008′s losses, pension funds are obviously keen to invest, perhaps because equity mutual funds lost them even more money than hedge funds during the crisis.
Many commentators have written the obituary of the hedge fund industry, or of some of its more esoteric or leverage-dependent strategies, during the credit crisis.
So it may be of some encouragement to see a new launch by Invesco Perpetual, announced today.
Regulators are going after the wrong target by trying to impose stricter rules on hedge funds, according to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, high-profile author of credit crisis hit The Black Swan.
Taking a decidedly negative view of banks, Taleb told the Hedge 2009 conference in London today that a bank is essentially “a utility with a compensation scheme”, which the public has to bail out if it fails.
There’s no shortage of resentment in London against the EU’s planned directive on hedge funds, but the Hedge Fund Standards Board on Monday said the rules could actually create one of the problems they’re set up to avoid.
At a CSFI debate at the beautiful Innholder’s Hall in the City, HFSB executive director Thomas Deinet pointed out that, as seen all too often in the credit crisis, in falling markets a fund’s leverage automatically rises.
We may have just lived through the biggest financial crisis in 80 years, but its impact may still not have been big enough for people to learn the right lessons for next time.
Philip Wood, special global counsel at Allen & Overy, told today’s Reuters Restructuring Summit in London’s Canary Wharf that the effects on the Western world’s populace of the credit crisis, while large, have simply not reached the proportions of 80 years ago.
Sheltering from the credit crisis in so-called defensive stocks could prove a disappointment to investors and a great opportunity for short-sellers, according to Liontrust hedge fund manager James Inglis-Jones.
Inglis-Jones, who runs a hedge fund for Liontrust and who recently took on the First Income fund after the departure of star manager Jeremy Lang, has short positions in sectors such as tobacco and pharmaceuticals and has recently added more.