Hedge Funds in Europe: Riders of the Storm

by Anshuman Jaswal, PhD, May 19, 2010
Industry Trends


Due to the economic downturn, the share of hedge funds with assets under management (AuM) over US$500 million has declined from 18% in 2008 to just 5% in 2009. Celent expects a recovery through 2010, and by 2012, the number of hedge funds to approach the 2007 peak. However, the average AuM for each fund is expected to be lower.

In order to cope with the downturn, hedge funds in Europe are becoming more efficient, using sophisticated risk management practices, increasing the number of trading relationships to reduce counterparty risk, and enhancing accountability to clients while becoming open to regulatory supervision. In a new report, Hedge Funds in Europe: Riders of the Storm, Celent analyzes the recent performance of hedge funds in Europe and discusses the future scenario expected for them.

The EU Directive on Alternative Investments is expected to lead to higher operational costs and create further pressure for an industry that has already suffered the brunt of the economic crisis. By one estimate, 83% of European hedge funds think that the new legislation would result in higher operational costs. It is seen as being too tough and putting firms based outside the EU that serve EU investors at a disadvantage. Similarly, non-EU firms that want to set up an office in Europe might be dissuaded from doing so. Among firms having an office in the EU, 10% would cease to do business because of the costs attached to the legislation.

“The European hedge fund industry is in a better position now than it was a year back, and in this scenario, the new EU directive might have an adverse effect on European business, thereby jeopardizing its recovery,” says Anshuman Jaswal, Senior Analyst and author of the report.

This report looks at hedge funds’ recent development, the impact of the credit crisis on their profitability and growth, regulatory developments such as the proposed European Directive on Alternative Investments and its expected impact on the industry, the ways and means in which the industry can get ready to cope with this new environment, its current degree of leverage and the possible impact across asset classes, and finally, the requirements for IT and how they differ according to the size and structure of the hedge funds.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary




Market Overview



Size and Composition of Hedge Funds in Europe



Hedge Fund Performance



Hedge Funds’ Leverage



Regulatory Environment


Trends in the Hedge Fund Industry



Consolidation and Economies of Scale



Changing Relationship with Prime Brokers



Reducing Leverage


IT Spending and Usage




Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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