Funds of Hedge Funds Industry
Funds of Hedge Funds Industry Deals with Consolidation
“IF one individual can serve as the embodiment of the hedge-fund industry—its entrepreneurial spirit, its youthful energy after decades of growth and its pursuit of the next great manager—it is Arpad “Arki” Busson.” So cooed the Financial Times in 2006. Now Mr Busson seems to have become the embodiment of his industry’s struggles. On May 29th reports surfaced that Mr Busson is seeking to sell EIM, his fund of hedge funds, which manages $6.2 billion, less than half of what it did in 2008.
Other funds of funds, which allocate investors’ money to a portfolio of different hedge funds, are also eyeing a sale. KKR, a private-equity firm, is in talks to buy Prisma Capital, a fund of funds. On May 21st Man Group, a listed hedge fund, announced it would buy FRM Holdings, an $8 billion fund of funds, for up to $83m. A small price tag, but some say Man is mad to pay even that.
In return for extra fees, funds of funds are supposed to perform due diligence and select the best managers. But some of the industry’s bright lights, including Mr Busson, put money with Bernard Madoff. Too many seem to have no clue how to select managers. Funds of funds have underperformed single-manager hedge funds in eight of the past ten years, according to Hedge Fund Research. Investors are voting with their feet. The sector still oversees $643.6 billion but $184.2 billion has flowed out since 2008. Source