Overview

Sat Apr 1, 2006


A distinct local flavour


Because hedge funds are increasingly perceived as a global industry, the specific character of individual markets is too often overlooked. Certainly, France can lay claim to being a very distinctive market influenced by its particular regulatory history, the dominance of a handful of major banks, a unique set of skills arising from its educational system, and a traditionally risk-averse appetite on the part of the institutional investors.

In the European context, where London remains the dominant centre for hedge fund activity, France has typically been regarded as a junior cousin. But the younger relative is rapidly growing up and is currently the second largest European location in terms of both number of funds and volume of assets. Whereas quantitative-driven strategies have long characterised the French industry, local hedge fund managers are gradually expanding their range of strategies to encompass a wider menu of investment styles and, in the process, stimulating...

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