Survey: Hedge Funds Don’t Tweet

Nov 17 2011 | 8:20am ET

Only 1% of the 77 hedge fund managers surveyed by MHP Communications in 2011 are active on Twitter and none has a wall on Facebook.

That said, 79% of the managers, each of which has at least US$1 billion in AUM, had a presence on LinkedIn (although only 23% were active), and only 8% were without a corporate web site.

MHP concludes that hedgies are “ignoring social media.” Said Martin Forrest, director, asset management and author of the MHP Survey 2011:
“The findings did not surprise us. Historically, hedge fund managers have deliberately kept a low profile and managed their reputations accordingly. They are also concerned about the regulatory implications of social media. As such, adoption of social media is extremely low.”

Forrest doesn’t see this as a problem in the short term, as “social media at an institutional level in the asset management industry is in its infancy.” But he says hedge fund managers should begin using social media more actively as it is “an emerging communications channel for hedge fund stakeholders, particularly current and future employees and clients as well as journalists in financial services media, in their work and personal lives.”
Out of 77 hedge fund managers surveyed, only MAN Investments has an active twitter feed, which it uses to tweet about a whole range of issues including “broad economic/investment views, corporate announcements, marketing events and press coverage.

The survey found that 4% of managers had secured their corporate name as a Twitter account but have yet to tweet.
The managers with the most employees on LinkedIn are: Citadel Investment Group—1,107 employees; MAN Investments—911; Bridgewater Associates—856. The three managers with the highest number of followers are: Citadel Investment Group—3,473 followers; Bridgewater Associates—2,606; and MAN Investments—2,118.

Two hedge fund managers (or 3% of survey respondents) have their own YouTube channel.
“Man Investments (Australia) is using it to show short films that it has produced on a range of topics including broad economic/investment views and marketing events. The Bridgewater Associates channel shows footage of an executive making a speech at an industry event. The 19% that have a ‘presence through broadcasters’ are those whose executives have interviewed on TV stations,” says the report.

Facebook is the least popular form of social media among hedgies, according to MHP—66% have a “passive presence” but no manager polled has an active Facebook page including a ‘wall,’ and a full 34% have no presence at all.

MHP polled 56 hedge fund managers in North America, 10 in the UK, six in the rest of Europe, and five in the Asia Pacific region.

MHP Communications is a leading communications business specializing in corporate reputation, brand/consumer PR, financial & investor communications, public affairs, internal communications and sustainability strategies.

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