eVestment: Hedge Funds Up 7.3% in 2012

Jan 9 2013 | 10:42am ET

Hedge funds added 7.3% in 2012, according to eVestment, and even managed to outperform the S&P 500 TR in Q4.

And while eVestment's numbers are higher than those of most other indices (the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index was up 3.51%, the Credit Suisse Liquid Alternative Beta Index was up 3.22% and the Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index was up 5.63% in 2012), hedge funds still trailed the S&P 500's full-year gains of 16%.

Almost all strategies tracked by the research firm ended 2012 in the black. The best performers were mortgage strategies, up 18.66% on the year (0.75% in December); long/short equities, up 9.57% on the year (2.24% in December); and relative-value credit, up 9.23% on the year (0.36% in December).

Event/driven distressed strategies were up 9.07% on the year (1.84% in December); convertible arbitrage strategies were up 7.02% on the year (0.36% in December); and multi-strategy funds were up 5.84% on the year (2.25% in December).

Reporting lower, but still positive, returns were macro strategies (up 3.24% on the year, 1.04% in December) and market neutral (up 3.04% on the year, down 0.03% in December).

The only losing strategy in 2012 was managed futures, down 0.71% on the year (but up 0.46% in December).

In regional terms, emerging markets funds triumphed, gaining 16.84% on the year to developed markets' 6.53%, led by Indian funds (up 20.54% on the year); Chinese funds (up 14.13% on the year), and Brazilian funds (up 12.84% on the year).

Credit fund assets under management (at $796.93 billion), surpassed equity fund AUM (at $788.91 billion) for the first time on record, according to eVestment.
 
“For all the negative press hedge funds received in 2012, the year was broadly positive,” said eVestment VP Peter Laurelli in a statement. “Investor flows were firmly positive with nearly $40 billion of inflows through November, almost doubling last year’s full year total. Many strategies returned nearly 10% in a year that was widely expected to be tumultuous, and did so in the face of a rising burden from regulation and oversight.”


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