What a difference a year makes. Just about this time last year, investors were clamoring to get into some of the best-performing hedge funds. But with some of the biggest names in the business down 7%, 25% in some cases, year to date, hedge fund managers fear that their investors are gearing up for massive withdrawals come the Sept. 30 deadline for year-end notices, The Wall Street Journal reports.

 

Those that are staying in the game are asking for more favorable fees or terms, or hunting out hedge funds that are taking less risk.

 

According to Hedge Fund Research’s database, which dates back to 1990, hedge funds are suffering their worst performance of the past nearly 20 years. While it is true that the S&P 500 is down 12.65% for the year through July, whereas hedge funds across the board have given up 3.43% of assets, investors are taking notice of the fact that bonds and fixed income are holding steady; the Lehman Brothers bond index is up 1.05%.

 

As Reid Bernstein, head of OneCapital Management Partners, put it: “You would think that investors would view hedge funds as having a good relative year. My strong sense is that most people are not pleased. Down is down.”

 

Added to investors’ angst over returns is the fact that some hedge funds with subprime or auction-rate securities exposure have not honored redemptions this year, which might lead to a “run on hedge funds.”

“There’s clearly greater uncertainly about investment flows to the industry for the rest of the year,” confided hedge fund CEO Jack Inglis, of Ferox Capital Management, whose own firm is experiencing a slowdown in flows.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

 

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