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Deutsche Bank releases 2014 Alternative Investment Survey

21 February 2014

Category: News, Asia, Global
By Asia Asset Management

Deutsche Bank released its 12th annual Alternative Investor Survey on February 20, which stands as one of the largest and longest standing hedge fund investor surveys available. This year over 400 investor entities participated, representing over US$1.8 trillion in hedge fund assets and over two thirds of the entire market by assets under management (AUM).

Barry Bausano, co-head of global prime finance at Deutsche Bank, said: “Hedge funds continue to establish their growing position within the broader asset management industry, alongside some of the more mainstream asset managers. The hedge fund industry is predicted to reach a record $3 trillion by 2014 year end driven by significant inflows, most notably from institutional investors.”

Anita Nemes, global head of the hedge fund capital group at Deutsche Bank, said: “With the majority of investors happy with hedge fund performance, we expect institutional investors to further strengthen their commitment to hedge funds. Last year’s respondents targeted 9.2% for their hedge fund portfolios, and hedge funds delivered – the weighted average return for respondents’ hedge fund portfolios this year was 9.3%. Looking forward, respondents are targeting 9.4% for 2014.”

Survey highlights

Investors remain bullish on industry growth – Hedge funds are expected to reach a record breaking $3 trillion by year-end 2014, up from $2.6 trillion as of 2013 year end. This is based on investors’ predictions of $171 billion net inflows and performance-related gains of 7.3% (representing $191 billion).

Commitment from institutional investors continues to strengthen – Nearly half of institutional investors increased their hedge fund allocations in 2013, and 57% plan to grow their allocations in 2014. Institutional investors now account for two thirds of industry assets, compared to approximately one third pre-crisis.

Investors are happy with hedge fund performance Eighty percent of respondents state that hedge funds performed as expected or better in 2013, after their allocations returned a weighted average of 9.3% in 2013. Sixty-three percent of respondents, and 79% of institutional investors, are targeting returns of less than 10% for their hedge fund portfolios in 2014. Equity long short and event driven are the most sought after strategies.

2 & 20 is not the normInvestors today pay an average management fee of 1.7%, and an average performance fee of 18.2%. While fees have come down slightly, investors remain willing to pay for performance: almost half of all investors would allocate to a manager with fees in excess of 2 & 20 where the manager has proven “consistent strong performance in absolute terms”.

A bigger part of a bigger pie – hedge funds get reclassifiedThirty-nine percent of investors are now embracing a risk-based approach to asset allocation, up from 25% in 2013. Forty-one percent of pension consultants recommend this approach to clients. The risk-based approach effectively removes historical constraints on the percentage allocation to absolute return strategies, allowing equity long/short managers to compete with long only and fixed income absolute return funds within the overall fixed income risk budget.

Conducted by Deutsche Bank’s global prime finance business, the survey identifies trends amongst a growing and evolving hedge fund investor base. Respondents include asset managers, public and private pensions, endowments and foundations, insurance companies, fund of funds, private banks, investment consultants and family offices.

Allocators from 29 different countries completed the survey. Approximately half (46%) of responding investors manage $1 billion+ in hedge fund AUM, and 18% manage over $5 billion.

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