Funds of hedge funds started 2012 on a positive note witnessing the strongest January to February performance in six years. The Eurekahedge Funds of Hedge Funds Index was up 3% in the first two months of the year as underlying single managers delivered their best start to a year since 2000. On the flipside, the trend of net negative flows continued from 2010 and 2011 as multi-managers saw net outflows of over US$20 billion.
Despite turbulent performance in recent years and a marked decline in assets, the industry has seen robust growth over the past decade. The funds of the hedge funds sector grew at an incremental pace in the 2002 to mid-2008 period increasing the size of the industry from less than US$100 billion to US$826.2 billion in March 2008. This growth in assets was accompanied by a simultaneous increase in the fund population with the total number of funds of hedge funds increasing from below 1500 to over 3700.The industry was hit with excessive losses and widespread redemptions with the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008 and multi-managers have struggled to attract a significant amount of assets since then.
Figure 1: Industry growth since 2000
Total assets under management (AuM) declined to US$560 billion by April 2009 as panicked investors withdrew large amounts of capital during the financial crisis. Net outflows between July 2008 and April 2009 amassed over US$160 billion while multi-managers witnessed their largest losses on record ...