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
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...