Survival of the fittest
Mon Mar 31, 2008
A small group of $100 billion firms could dominate a $7.44 trillion hedge fund landscape by 2013. Will high returns persist, or could the industry finally experience a colossal correction and see both performance and assets plunge? What will the industry look like and will it ultimately be a healthier place?
If $100 billion giants dominate the future, can high returns
persist? By Sarah Wood Always defined by elite status, with
sky-high fees, superrich investors, brilliant managers and
broad freedoms to invest as it pleased, the U.S. hedge fund
industry over the past several years looked as if it might be
turning into a more democratic place. For starters, low
barriers to entry and an influx of institutional money
desperate for better returns in the wake of the tech bust
produced an unprecedented increase in the number of funds and a
fivefold gain in the assets of firms with $1 billion or more
under management. This growth, in turn, put performance, and
therefore fees, under pressure. Then there was the minimum
income requirement, which became less meaningful as personal
wealth rose, helping attract the attention of regulators. And
demands by institutional investors threatened to take away the
privacy and unique character of the...
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