Andrew Baker, chief executive officer, Alternative Investment Management Associiation
This time last year, I wrote in the HedgeFund Intelligence Global Review how the financial crisis had in essence forced the hedge fund industry to justify its existence. I explained how critics in political and policy-making circles claimed the industry contributed little to society or to the broader economy, and that such views unfortunately had influenced the regulatory and legislative debate. I went on to outline how we had set out to counter such hostility by seeking to explain to policy-makers the value of hedge funds to markets and to society at large.
Twelve months on, the industry is compelled to defend itself again. This is because of criticism in the press of the performance figures for 2011, and the publication of a new, highly contentious polemic about the industry.
The performance figures showed, of course, that the average...