Alternative investment research firm The Barclay Group has acquired the Alternative Asset Center database, making it the world’s largest database of hedge fund performance.
Barclay will take over publication of AAC’s Directory of Fund-of-Hedge Funds. The combined entity will track nearly 7,000 hedge funds and more than 12,000 alternative investment products, according to Barclay President Sol Waksman.
Waksman also said the database will “sustain an update velocity exceeding 90% in 30 days.”
The acquisition of the AAC database follows close on the heels of research firm Morningstar’s purchase of the Altvest hedge fund database from InvestorForce in July.
While hedge fund databases may be popular new revenue streams for some research firms, questions are being raised as to the value of the data they provide. The Wall Street Journal notes, in an article published earlier this week about hedge fund databases in Asia, that the numbers in the databases are generally furnished to the database operator by the hedge funds themselves, with little or no investigation into their veracity.
Peter Douglas, who works at Singapore consulting firm GFIA, tells the Journal he’s “rather skeptical about these numbers,” and it’s not hard to see why. According to the paper, Dynasty Asset Management alum Edward Mullen’s new Emperor Greater China Fund, which was launched just this summer, posts some six years of trading history on the Eurekahedge database. While the first three of those years match the performance of the now-defunct Dynasty fund, the latter three “are a good deal better,” the Journal reports.