AIMA/Preqin Study: Global Hedge Fund Industry Employment Up 30% Since 2010

May 1 2017 | 11:00pm ET

The global hedge fund industry employs close to 400,000 people, an increase of about a third since 2010, according to new research by the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) and data provider Preqin.

Globally, around 115,000 staff work at hedge fund management firms, and a further 275,000 at hedge fund service providers such as including lawyers, auditors, administrators and prime brokers, the companies said in a joint statement. The data excludes consultants for IT, public relations and marketing.  

The global total represents an increase of 30% since the end of 2010, the last time that AIMA conducted a global employment survey. The growth rate is in line with a 32% increase in the number of hedge fund management firms worldwide, to around 5,500 during that period, Preqin noted.

The most hedge fund industry workers are in the U.S., at 253,000, followed by the UK (56,000), Hong Kong (9,000), Switzerland (8,000), Australia (7,000), Canada (6,000), Singapore (4,000), Brazil (4,000), France (4,000) and China (3,000).

According to Preqin, hedge fund management firms tend to be larger on average in the UK than elsewhere, the statement continued. The average staff count in the UK is 29, compared to 20 in the U.S. and around 15 in Canada, Australia, France and Brazil. The smallest firms by staff numbers are in Hong Kong and Singapore, where the average is around seven people.  

“The industry continues on a strong long-term growth trajectory,” said AIMA CEO Jack Inglis in the statement. “Back in December of 2010, the industry managed around $1.6 trillion in assets and employed about 300,000 people worldwide. Today, it manages around $3 trillion on behalf of more than 5,000 institutional investors and employs about 400,000 people.”

“The market has diversified over recent years, and the hedge fund industry is an increasingly global one,” added Preqin’s Amy Bensted, head of hedge fund products for the company. “Although the U.S. remains the largest center for hedge fund employment, significant numbers of people now work in hedge fund firms or service providers in financial hubs across the globe.” 

AIMA is a global alternative investment industry association with 1,800+ corporate members in more than 50 countries. It is the co-founder of the well-known Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation, and its manager members collectively manage more than $1.8 trillion in assets worldwide. 

Preqin, meanwhile, is a leading source of information for the alternative assets industry, providing data and analysis via online databases, publications and bespoke data requests. More than 47,000 professionals in 90 nations use the company’s products.

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