Hedge fund managers take heed: “Ignore the press at your peril,” warned Thomas Walek, president of public relations firm Walek & Associates and co-author of a recently released report on hedge funds and the media. Walek, speaking at a hedge fund conference in Dubai this week, said that the new hedge fund regulations that came into play on Feb. 1 have allowed for greater media transparency.
“Already in 2006 we are seeing a big increase in hedge funds interacting with the media,” he said.
Other interesting findings in the survey include the following:
- 100% of journalists think that hedge fund managers are smarter about the markets than their mutual fund counter parts.
- Media coverage of hedge funds jumped 43% last year compared with 2004.
- A majority of journalists believe that hedge funds exacerbate stock market swings.
- 61% of journalists think new U.S. hedge fund regulations will help protect investors.
- 41% of journalists think hedge fund expenses are too high.
- While the media used the words “hedge funds” and “blow-up” together in articles two or three times as often today as they did three years ago, the percentage who expect a major hedge fund blow-up has declined since then.
In response to the Walek poll, we here at FINalternatives thought it would be fun to conduct our own, non-scientific poll. Here are the results:
- 100% of FINalternatives journalists have warm and fuzzy feelings about hedge fund managers, especially those who take the time to speak with them—be it on or off the record.
- 100% of FINalternatives journalists will remember—and note in their source list with evil frowny faces—the names of managers who are rude to them. (But not to worry, we are impartial and won’t let someone’s bad manners influence our writing, really we won’t.)
- 63% of FINalternatives journalists are waiting for invitations to cocktail parties hosted by hedge fund managers. The other 37% were at a cocktail party and couldn’t respond.