Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

A question of trust?

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.

RTXQPR6Despite 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.

Just as interesting, however, is one of the possible reasons why the $126 bln NYSCRF chose Finisterre (whose assets fell as low as $420 mln in the crisis).

Performance aside, Finisterre claims one of the reasons it’s been able to attract money is because it didn’t put up gates, barring investor exits, during the crisis.

Pension funds warn of €1.5 bln regulation cost

As the debate over the EU’s controversial and highly-politicized AIFM proposals on hedge funds and private equity rumbles on, there emerges more evidence that boosts opponents of the plans.

RTR28O54An article in Global Pensions highlights a letter to the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs from Dutch pension funds and asset managers, saying the implementation of the AIFM in its current form could cost 1.5 bln euros annually.

RAB on the way back up

A positive trading update and finally a rise in assets from RAB Capital this morning shows that even hedge fund firms badly hit by the credit crisis are on the way back up.

RTXR8CZThe firm, whose assets stood at more than $7 bln two years ago - but later saw them slump due to outflows and performance losses -  saw a recovery in H2 of $100 mln to $1.37 bln.

Fight Fight Fight!

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bar_fight.gifFor those tiring of the squabbling over the European Union’s AIFM directive, at least the rhetoric continues to impress.

The EU threat has certainly made pension funds more bullish, and this week they were threatening to gang up on “arrogant” hedgies to force through far stricter terms on performance fees. “Institutional investors are totally disillusioned with funds not delivering what was on the tin,” Philip Read, chairman of the British Coal scheme, told chastened managers at the Hedge 2009 conference.

Morning line-up

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Hedge fund stories from the past 24 hours from Reuters and elsewhere:

rtxcg5sInsurers quit hedge funds – Insurance Times

Investors fear hedge fund rules limit choice – Reuters

Hedge fund ATM moves to Washington – Bloomberg

Will the high water mark catch on – Seeking Alpha

Back to life (settlements) – HFMWeek

Tilting at windmills

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Hedge fund rules on thin ice?The growing discomfort among pension funds over EU plans to regulate the hedge fund industry has prompted another public pronouncement, this time from Dutch schemes with assets of about 450 billion euros, including APG and PGGM.

We’ve noted the potential pivotal role the pension industry could play before, but as yet there hasn’t been an appreciable softening in the tone adopted by the hardliners. Their standard bearer Poul Nyrup Rasmussen called London Mayor Boris Johnson “out of touch with reality” after the much-lobbied blonde tried to strike a blow for the alternatives industry on a vist to Brussels this week.

Pensioners totter to the rescue

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It may look like an unlikely scenario on paper, but Europe’s elderly masses could be about to provide the killer blow to draft EU rules to regulate the alternative investment industry.

Hedge fund associations, private equity lobbyists, the British government and even the United States Treasury have waded into the debate over the proposed legislation, seeking to soften an approach which has been labelled an exercise in post-financial crisis political grandstanding, rather than a measured look at how to better regulate the sector.

Batten down the hatches

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It’s fashionable now for leading economists and financial wizards to claim that they saw the credit crunch coming and the kind of dislocation it would create. But how many have predicted where the next implosion will occur?

bad-building1Dr Andrew Lo, founder of hedge fund firm AlphaSimplex, and director of the MIT laboratory for financial engineering, has spent his career studying market behaviour, publishing papers examining why quant funds imploded in August 2007, and trying to reconcile behavioural economics with efficient market theory.

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