MAS names sustainability head; Malaysia’s EPF appoints COO and CFO; GIC PE head for SEA leaves; State Super hires new exec; Hesta appoints chief growth officer, chief Debby Blakey appointed to corporate governance board; ex-BlackRock exec joins IQ-EQ in Singapore; HSBC AM builds direct real estate team; ex-Vanguard head of distribution joins LGIM; Sanne names Singapore head; and more
For the next six months, the industry went on a losing spree. And indeed, the 2008 totals are pretty awful: down 18.3%, the worst ever. Funds of hedge funds lost 20% in aggregate û and thatÆs before Bernie Madoff became a household name.
But the industry did go out on a modestly positive note. December saw its first positive gains in half a year, with HFRÆs index recording a 0.42% performance gain. As silver linings go, this oneÆs thin, but in this environment, any good news is welcome.
An even better picture emerges from Credit Suisse, which compiles an alternative investment replication index. Its ôAir Lo/sho Indexö gained 2.98% in December, although it too ended the year in negative territory, at -16.6%.
The official CS line: ôThe Air Lo/sho reflects the return of a dynamic basket of liquid, investable market factors selected and weighted in accordance with an algorithm that aims to approximate the aggregate returns of the universe of long/short equity hedge-fund managers,ö assuming management fees of 1.5%.
The story isnÆt so heart-warming if you look at a straight benchmark number, though: HFRÆs equity hedge index shows a modest loss of 0.08% for December.
Most of the best performance last year in HFRÆs universe came from dedicated short strategies (up 28% in 2008) and diversified macro funds (up 18%). Asset-backed bond strategies also showed very modest gains.
Although strategies such as those dedicated to energy and basic materials had an awful year, down 37% in total, they posted slight gains in December û in this case, up 1.7%.
Overall in 2008, however, quant, event-driven, distressed, convertible arbitrage and credit strategies all posted losses of 20% or more. For many managers, the jinx ainÆt broken yet.
Kwap property arm appoints CEO; VFMC names new CEO as Lisa Gray retires; MSIG Singapore promotes Mack Eng as CEO; Monroe Capital opens first Asia office in Seoul, hires head from Aberdeen; Vanguard Australia appoints new MD to relocate from US; HSBC AM expands EM debt team; Vantage FX hires from CGS-CIMB in Singapore; and more.
Financials and healthcare have been spotted as promising sectors, while several tech IPOs are on the way, including a $2.2 billion fintech firm and a GIC-backed e-commerce startup.
A strong recovery in the Asia Pacific private capital markets in 2021 sets up favourable hiring and compensation trends.
The $95 billion Korean savings will set up a separately managed account for real estate debt investment early next year in order to shorten decision-making and help it win deals in a crowded market.