Grave new world

Fri Dec 9, 2011

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Managers and investors at the AR Symposium say that while opportunities are out there, the macro picture is still frightening.

By the AR editorial staff

  Nassim Taleb, Mitch Julis and Emmanuel Roman. Illustrations by Luke Wilson
With fears of contagion from the European debt crisis, wildly fluctuating stock markets and the bankruptcy of MF Global fresh on their minds, hedge fund managers speaking at the AR Symposium the first week of November said investing these days is more about avoiding landmines than making huge gains.

Judging by their returns this year, many managers fell short of even that modest goal. "Hedge funds really haven’t done what they were supposed to do this year," said Emmanuel Roman, COO of Man Group, the London-based investment manager with $64.5 billion in assets.

It certainly hasn’t been for lack of trying. "I think we worked harder than we have in our careers, but the returns are not what they should be," Roman added.

Managers warned that a dramatic improvement...

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H

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