InvestHedge Awards 2008 (& Global Briefing Seminar)

Venue: The Pierre (61st and fifth)
Location: New York
Dates: Thursday, 12 March 2009 - Thursday, 12 March 2009

Some 300 of the leading players in the global fund of hedge funds industry came together last night at the Pierre Hotel in New York for the Seventh annual InvestHedge Funds of Hedge Funds Awards for the best risk adjusted performance among the global funds of hedge funds universe. For the first time, 13 out of the 19 awards were judged on 36 month risk-adjusted performance.

Who won at the 2008 InvestHedge Awards?

SSARIS Advisors, the fund of funds arm of State Street, walked away with two awards, including Group of the Year, which this year was given to two firms. Pinnacle Asset Management in New York, which won the Commodities & Natural Resources Award for the third year, also won a Group of the Year award.

Managed Futures, a new award, and Global Macro were the strategies that boosted returns in 2008. Abbey Capital's managed futures ACL Alternative Fund won the prestigious Fund of the Year, the nominees for which were unveiled at the Award ceremony in New York on 12 March, 2009. 

Seventeen groups took home 19 awards, with three funds of hedge funds each picking up two accolades. Fourteen of the 17 firms could be considered boutiques as defined by size of firm and investment philosophies. Once again, this year's winners were split evenly between US-based firms and European companies.

The year was probably one of the most challenging in the history of funds of hedge funds, but even on a one year basis, a number of the firms performed well. Funds of funds products with known Madoff exposure were disqualified, although the firms themselves were not disqualified so non-tainted funds were still included.

SSARIS, which grew in assets by 195% in 2008, also won Arbitrage Fund of the Year for the second year running, as did Gems with the Gems Recovery Fund. Memphis-based Centennial Partners won for the first time in the Global Macro Category, while Financial Risk Management took home the newly created Managed Futures award with FRM Sigma Fund.

Persistent Edge took home two awards in the Asian & Emerging Markets space with Persistent Edge China Partners, as well as the Global Multi-Strategy Award ($100m-$500m).

The flagship Global Multi-Strategy Award continues to have many high calibre candidates that this year a third awards was added for GMS funds with more than $1 billion in assets. This new award was taken home by London-based Liongate Capital Management, while Thames River Capital won the award for global multi-strategy funds with assets of $500 million to $1 billion, for the second year running.

Among this year's other winners was Meritas, which won the Global Equity Award for the first time, while Lyrical Partners took the US Strategies Award home for third year, and RMF took the European Strategies Award home for the second year, as did Protégé Partners that won the Emerging Managers Award again for a second year.

New Fund of the Year, won by Eddington Macro Opportunities Fund, Group of the Year, split between Pinnacle and SSARIS, and Institutional Firm of the Year, won for the third year by Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, were judged on a one-year basis taking into account 2008 performance and assets. 

As more end investors look at longer term performance, the Long Term Award, judged over 10 years on a risk adjusted basis, was split into two by asset size. Aurum Isis Fund won the $500m to $1 billion category, while Rothschild's Nemrod Diversified Holdings won the 10 Year Performance Award for funds with more than $1 billion in assets.